Fishermen aboard a trawler on the West Coast of the Western Cape found themselves in deep waters on Friday afternoon, after one of the men onboard suffered a medical complaint.
The National Sea Rescue Institute’s (NSRI) airborne sea rescue (ASR) duty crew were immediately activated to the vessel, which was 93 nautical miles north west, offshore of the Cape Columbine lighthouse.
The Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre arranged for a Western Cape government health emergency services duty doctor to assess the patient via radio services, after which it was deemed that the patient needed to be airlifted to hospital urgently.
The trawler was then requested to make its way to Saldanha Bay, so as to be in range of the helicopter rescue operation.
A paramedic was dispatched to join the NSRI ASR duty crew and South African Air Force pilots.
At the scene, an NSRI ASR rescue swimmer and the paramedic were hoisted from the helicopter onto the fishing trawler.
The patient was found to be in a stable condition, and was taken into the helicopter using the basket hoist procedure.
The patient was transported to hospital, and is expected to make a full recovery.
Compiled by Nica Richards