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PICTURES By NSRI Table Bay: The patient being hoisted from the fishing vessel Ellis-S into the SAAF 22 Squadron Oryx helicopter while the 2 NSRI Table Bay sea rescue craft stand by on the scene.

NSRI and 22 Squadron airlift fisherman off trawler

Date: 1 September 2017

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NSRI ASR (Air Sea Rescue) were activated at 05h46, Thursday, 31st August, following reports of a 71 year old fisherman suspected to be suffering a heart attack on the fishing vessel Ellis-S at fishing grounds approximately 40 nautical miles North West from Cape Town.


MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre) arranged for the WC Government Health EMS duty doctor to speak to the Captain of the fishing trawler by radio phone in order to medically assess the patient and communications were assisted by Telkom Maritime Radio Services.

The EMS duty doctor deemed it necessary for the patient to be evacuated to hospital as soon as possible and the NSRI Table Bay duty crew were activated by TNPA (Transnet National Ports Authority) at 06h55.

Telkom Maritime Radio Services instructed the fishing vessel Ellis-S to begin a heading towards the Port of Table Bay.

The NSRI Table Bay sea rescue Spirit of Day, with coxswain Davide Del Fante and crew Gal Chiles and Ewald Bonzet (Gal and Ewald are also Community Medics dispatchers), was sent ahead as a first response.

Three WC Government Health EMS rescue paramedics responded to the sea rescue station in Table Bay Port.

The NSRI Table Bay sea rescue craft Spirit of Vodacom, with coxswain Rudi Fisch and crew Ian Watson (NSRI Table Bay deputy station commander), Yaseen Gamiet, Heather Forror and Gert van der Linde and accompanied by the three EMS rescue paramedics, Fabian Higgins, Antoinette Burrows and Anina Balie, was dispatched.

On the sea rescue craft Spirit of Day’s arrival on the scene, approximately 30 nautical miles North West of the Port of Table Bay, the two NSRI crew, Gal Chiles and Ewald Bonzet, were transferred from the sea rescue craft onto the trawler and commenced medical treatment to the patient who was found to be showing signs and symptoms of a heart attack (Myocardial Infarction).

On the arrival on the scene of the sea rescue craft Spirit of Vodacom two of the EMS rescue paramedics, Antoinette Burrows and Anina Balie, were transferred onto the fishing vessel and they continued with medical treatment.

An SA Air Force (SAAF) 22 Squadron Oryx helicopter was tasked by MRCC to assist NSRI ASR with the emergency patient evacuation.

The SAAF 22 Squadron Oryx helicopter, piloted by Major JP du Preez and his co-pilot Major Jan Agenbach, and supported by their flight engineer Flight Sergeant Frank Boekooi and by the NSRI ASR rescue officer Marius Hayes and NSRI ASR rescue swimmer Carol Cunningham, were airborne from Air Force Base Ysterplaat at 09h31 and the NSRI ASR team rendezvoused with the casualty vessel (and the 2 NSRI Table Bay sea rescue craft) approximately 20 nautical miles North West of the Port of Table Bay.

The patient, in a stable condition, was hoisted into the helicopter secured into a rescue basket and the two EMS rescue paramedics (Antoinette and Anina) were also hoisted into the helicopter where they continued with medical treatment inside the helicopter and the patient was flown directly to Groote Schuur Hospital where doctors and nurses took over medical care of the patient.

The operation was completed at 10h30.



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