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Hambantota Port responds to medical emergency on the high seas

3 June 2019 - 153   - 0

The Hambantota International Port (HIP) ran a rescue operation recently, on a 20k vessel which was on a 10,000 mile journey, sailing from Rotterdam to Shanghai. 

The vessel contacted the port requesting help with a sick crew member and the team responded immediately. The pilot launch Ruhunu 1 was dispatched without delay, and travelled 12 nautical miles to retrieve the crew member, who had fallen ill, the HIP said in a media release.

The 20,000 TEU container vessel COSCO Taurus came to the anchorage area, where the operation was handled by HIP. The patient was transferred from ship to launch, using the pilot hole and the gangway while an ambulance service was ready to receive him, immediately upon arrival at the jetty.

The sick crew member was transported to the Ruhunu Medi Hospital with utmost care. Whilst this particular patient was treated at a private medical facility in Hambantota, the area also has a well-equipped hospital with facilities to handle any emergency situation

. “This is an important facility which we have opened up for ships’ crews who might be faced with unexpected medical emergencies. The fact that we could send out our rescue teams to transfer them from the moving main vessel to a launch and transport them to hospital in record time, makes another plus factor for HIP,” says Ravi Jayawickrema, CEO of Hambantota International Port Services (HIPS).

The CEO says that the port intends positioning this service for crew members as well as making this facility known to international shipping lines plying the sea lanes 16nm away from HIP. “Close on 30,000 ships pass Hambantota every year so this would be an important rescue point in an emergency. 

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