Andy Connell, NSRI Air Sea Rescue station commander, said: On Thursday afternoon, 10th December, NSRI Simonstown duty crew were placed on alert by the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) following a request for medical assistance from the fishing trawler Andromeda reporting to be heading towards Cape Town from deep sea fishing with a 58 year old Cape Town crewman onboard suffering breathing difficulties believed to be caused from a lung infection and they were currently approximately 40 nautical miles South of Cape Point.
A WC Government Health EMS duty doctor was tasked by MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre) to evaluate the patients medical condition by phone and it was deemed that the patient should be evacuated off Andromeda as soon as possible to be transported to hospital and to be seen to by doctors.
An SA Air Force 22 Squadron Oryx helicopter, accompanied by an EMS rescue paramedic and NSRI ASR rescue swimmers, was tasked at 17h30 to respond and they rendezvoused with Andromeda 37 nautical miles South of Cape Point arriving on-scene at sunset.
NSRI Simonstown duty crew remained on alert throughout the operation. VHF Marine radio communications were assisted by Telkom Maritime Radio Services.
The EMS rescue paramedic and NSRI ASR rescue swimmers were winch hoisted from the helicopter onto the deck of the Andromeda where they found the patient to be in a serious condition suffering breathing difficulties.
The patient was medically stabilised onboard the fishing trawler by the rescue crew before being secured into a specialised hoisting stretcher and winch hoisted into the helicopter followed by the rescue crew and the EMS rescue paramedic treated the patient onboard the helicopter en route to Groote Schuur Hospital.
Groote Schuur Hospital were placed on alert by EMS Metro Control to prepare for the arrival of the patient.
A night landing was prepared for at the Groote Schuur Hospital helipad and on landing at Groote Schuur Hospital after dark the patient, in a serious but stable condition, was handed into the care of hospital staff and he has been admitted to Groote Schuur Hospital for further treatment.