AMSA coordinates multi-agency response to medical emergency

AMSA Media release with bottom of the sea image

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) has successfully coordinated the medical evacuation of a seafarer who sustained serious injuries during an on board accident.

The vessel was travelling to Port Hedland and located approximately 1850 km off the WA coast in the Indian Ocean, when the seafarer sustained serious burns. 

From the initial call on Saturday evening to the successful medical transfer of the seafarer to hospital, the AMSA Response Centre, located in Canberra (ACT), coordinated the multi-agency medical evacuation.

The AMSA Response Centre Duty Manager James Fryday said, he is proud of the efforts of his team and the support they received from Defence and other government agencies.

“Our mission was to ensure the welfare of the injured crew member and to safely coordinate the medical evacuation.  

“When a vessel is a long way from land AMSA uses all available assets to support its search and rescue missions.  

“For this evacuation, we used the Tele Medical Advice Service (TMAS) to assess the crew member’s condition and then I was able to task the AMSA Perth Challenger Jet to air drop specific medical supplies to the ship.

“At the same time, we requested assistance from the Australian Defence Force which tasked the Royal Australian Navy with a planned ship-to-ship medical evacuation,” he said.

The Royal Australian Navy deployed two senior doctors, a nurse and three other medical staff aboard MV Besant, operated by Serco Australia, to support the medical evacuation.

On Tuesday 17 November 2020, the Navy personnel boarded the vessel and provided medical assistance to the injured seafarer.

The vessel arrived into Fremantle on Wednesday 18 November 2020 and the injured seafarer was successfully transferred to hospital for treatment.


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