SA heli evacuates crew from bulk carrier: photos


Picture: Bianca Bezuidenhout, Wilderness NSRI volunteer.

South Africa’s National Sea Rescue Institute has released photographs of the helicopter rescue of 19 crew members of the bulk carrier Kiani Satu, which ran aground yesterday at Walker Bay, between Knysna and Sedgefield on the country’s south coast.

A Sikorsky S-76 helicopter operated by the Titan Helicopter Group airlifted the crew members to shore in relays.

The ship, sailing from Cape Town to Gabon with a full load of rice, ran into motor mechanical problems on 7 August. The NSRI said she had washed side-on to the shore and came to rest hard aground after her anchor dragged. A tug boat was not able to hold her off against rough sea swells of 5m and strong gusting to 45 knot onshore winds. After the ship’s captain decided to abandon ship, it was thought that safest rescue option was to deploy the helicopter and hoist the crew off the ship while NSRI rescue boats stood by to assist if necessary.

“The rescue helicopter hoisted NSRI helicopter rescue swimmers on to the ship’s deck, where they instructed crew on the procedure to be hoisted into the helicopter by winch hoist using under-arm harnesses,” said NSRI Knysna station commander Graeme Harding. “Once they were safely airlifted to the beach, because of the terrain, they were then ferried by our NSRI sea rescue vehicles to a parking area in the Goukamma Nature Reserve where the Nature Conservation office was taken over as a rescue operations control point.”

Harding said the Ukrainian and Filipino crew were then handed into the care of Police Sea Borderline and transported to Mossel Bay for visa control processing and accommodation.

Picture NSRI.

Sea Rescue swimmers aboard the Sikorski 76 helicopter. Picture: NSRI.

Picture: Bianca Bezuidenhout, Wilderness NSRI volunteer.

, , ,

  1. No comments yet.
(will not be published)