NSRI St Francis Bay duty crew were activated following a request for medical assistance from the skipper of a Cape Town stern trawler requiring a crewman, suffering a medical complaint that needs to be seen to by a doctor, to be patient evacuated off the trawler to hospital.

MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre), Telkom Maritime Radio Services, TNPA (Transnet National Ports Authority), NSRI EOC (Emergency Operations Centre) and a Government Health EMS duty doctor assisted with the logistics and coordination of the patient evacuation to hospital for the crewman.

Private Care ambulance services were placed on alert.

We launched our sea rescue craft Spirit of St Francis II and rendezvoused with the fishing trawler 14 nautical miles off-shore of St Francis Bay.

The patient, a local man, aged 29, was transferred onto our sea rescue craft and he was medically assessed by our NSRI medics and in a stable condition we transported him to our sea rescue station where Private Care ambulance services paramedics took the patient into their care.

The patient has been transported by Private Care ambulance to hospital in a stable condition.

The operation was completed at 07h54.


Ernie Schmidt, NSRI Jeffreys Bay duty controller, said:

At 17h02, Wednesday, 27th November, NSRI Jeffreys Bay duty crew were activated following eye-witness reports of a surfer appearing to be in difficulty behind the back breakers at Magnas (a popular beach and surfing spot).

We launched the sea rescue Waverunner and NSRI rescue swimmers responded to the scene.

On arrival on the scene an NSRI rescue swimmer found a male on a surfboard seeming to be stuck in rip currents behind the back breakers and a member of the public had launched his surfboard to go to assist.

Our NSRI rescue swimmer grabbed the NSRI Pink Rescue Buoy that is stationed on a pole at Magnas and he deployed into the surf and reached the casualty and swam the casualty out of the rip current and safely back to shore reaching the shoreline as our sea rescue Waverunner arrived on-scene.

NSRI medics assessed the local man and he required no further assistance, he was not injured, and he confirmed that he was not able to paddle his surfboard back to the beach after getting caught in rip currents.

This brings to 50 the number of persons assisted using an NSRI Pink Rescue Buoy.