SA Cruise News

American passenger evacuated from Seven Seas Explorer during South African cruise

An elderly American cruise passenger was taken off Seven Seas Explorer due to a medical emergency during her 15-night roundtrip Cape Town cruise along the coast of South Africa.

Seven Seas Explorer was off the coast of Mossel Bay in South Africa when it sent a pan pan call to the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC), who notified Western Cape emergency medical services (EMS) metro control.

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The NSRI Station 15 Mossel Bay crew were then alerted at 8pm in the evening on December 28th, according to IOL, which spoke to station commander Andre Fraser.

“We began preparations to launch sea rescue craft and By Grace ambulance services dispatched paramedics to join in the operation,” said Fraser.

Reports from the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) indicated that the passenger had suffered a stroke, but had been stabilised by the ship’s medical team.

At the time of the incident, Seven Seas Explorer was making for Port Elizabeth in 30 to 40 knot north-easterly winds and a three to four metre swell.

NSRI Station 15 Mossel Bay dispatched two sea rescue craft, Rescue 15 and St Blaze Rescuer, accompanied by paramedics from By Grace ambulance services.

Rescue 15 off Mossel Bay in file footage.

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They met the ship 5.5 nautical miles off Mossel Bay and a paramedic and two NSRI rescue swimmers were transferred onto the ship.

“The patient, in a serious but stable condition, was secured onto a stretcher and transferred onto [the] sea rescue craft and brought to shore in the care of the paramedics, and he has been transported to hospital accompanied by his wife,” Fraser said.

Seven Seas Explorer continued with the rest of the cruise following the incident. Her next scheduled port call in Port Elizabeth was unaffected, and at the time of writing she was alongside in Richard’s Bay, her penultimate port call (Mossel Bay is next) before she ends her cruise in Cape Town on January 6th.

Seven Seas Explorer, operated by Regent Seven Seas Cruises, is one of the most luxurious cruise ships ever to cruise roundtrip from Cape Town, she will depart the city this coming Sunday bound for Rio de Janeiro, a 14-night trans-Atlantic voyage that includes port calls in Namibia and St Helena.

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