By Jite Eriabie
A critically injured crewman died on board the bulk carrier MV Grand Amanda off South Africa on October 19, according to the country’s National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI).
Geoff McGregor, NSRI East London station commander, said that NSRI was alerted by the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) of the crewman who suffered injuries and fractures to both legs and both thighs on board the Panamax ship.
The vessel was some 189 nautical miles offshore of the East Coast and re-routing towards East London in the afternoon hours of October 18.
A duty doctor had provided medical advice to the seafarer to aid in treating the patient but unfavorable sea conditions and the distance ruled out a helicopter patient evacuation and the ship was diverted to head towards the nearest port.
While efforts were underway to arrange the evacuation the following morning, the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) pilot boat transported rescue paramedics to the vessel once it was closer to the Port of East London. However, extremely rough seas and strong winds prevented paramedics from boarding the ship.
NSRI Durban, NSRI Port Elizabeth, NSRI ASR, the TNPA Port Helicopter and both the SA Air Force (SAAF) 15 Squadron and 15 Squadron Charlie Flight remained on alert throughout the night in the event weather and sea conditions subsided to allow for a helicopter rescue effort, according to NSRI.
Medical kit was transferred aboard the vessel during the night and NSRI East London was ready, despite continuously strong winds, to attempt to board the ship at around 5:00 A.M. October 19.
Unfortunately, prior to launching, it was confirmed that the patient succumbed to his injuries and passed away during the early hours of the morning.
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