Maritime & Coastguard Agency Press Office, 2010/10/09
Thames Coastguard coordinated the successful rescue of a 27-year-old man this morning after he had fallen overboard from a container vessel 16 miles off Felixstowe.
At 6.15 am Thames Coastguard received a report that a man had fallen overboard from the 57000 ton container vessel MSC Gina. The crew member, a male from Montenegro, had been preparing a boarding ladder in readiness for a pilot to board to take the vessel into Felixstowe when the platform collapsed and he fell overboard.
He was not wearing a lifejacket or safety harness.
Thames Coastguard requested the RAF Rescue Helicopter from Wattisham attend, as well as requesting the launch of the Harwich RNLI All Weather and Inshore Lifeboats, and two Harwich Haven Pilot boats (Haven Hawk and the St Brendan). The Windcat 17, a workboat for the Gabbard Windfarm was in the vicinity and also proceeded to the scene.
The crew of the Panamanian flagged MSC Gina was able to keep the casualty in sight and, upon arriving on scene at 6.36 am; the St Brendan quickly located the man and rescued him from the water.
The casualty was then taken to Felixstowe dock where he was warmed up and treated by the dock Paramedics for hypothermia before returning to the MSC Gina when it docked at 9.30am.
Thames Coastguard Watch Manager Karen Paradise said:
It is due to accidents like this that we encourage seafarers to wear lifejackets and safety harnesses whilst working on deck, and it is particularly crucial whilst engaged in tasks where falling overboard is a risk. Unfortunately, not all occasions where crew members fall overboard result in a successful rescue but wearing a lifejacket will buy you more time in the water and could save your life.