Chinese naval escort taskforce saves sick Chinese fisherman in Arabian Sea

China Military Online
Xu Yi

By Xue Chengqing, Jian Rili, Yin Zhenzhou, and Gu Yagen

Sailors of the 31st Chinese naval escort taskforce board the fishing vessel “Fuyuanyu 853" on Feb. 27, 2019. (Photo by Yin Zhenzhou)

GULF OF ADEN, March 1(ChinaMil)-- The Comprehensive supply ship Luomahu (Hull 964) of the 31st Chinese naval escort taskforce successfully rescued sick fisherman Huang Shunzu of a Fujian-based fishing vessel at 10:20 a.m. on February 27, local time (3:20 p.m. Beijing Time). This was the third time that the ship has helped Chinese citizens in the deep ocean since it assumed escort mission.

Comprehensive supply ship Luomahu, which was providing maritime replenishment for the amphibious dock landing ship Kunlunshan (Hull 998), received the rescue order from the superior at around 3 p.m. on February 25, local time. The Luomahu suspended its replenishing task and headed to the designated area immediately.

The hull number of the fishing vessel was Fuyuanyu 853. It was fishing in the Arabian Sea when crew member Huang Shunzu suffered from abdominal pain, suddenly fell on the floor and started to vomit.

Guo Bizhuan, the captain of the medical team on Luomahu, began to monitor patient's situation through maritime satellite phone. According to the nature of the patient's work, Guo initially judged that the patient might be suffering from bladder stones, but he could not rule out more complex and dangerous symptoms such as acute appendicitis, gastric perforation, or cardiogenic abdominal pain.

At that time, the distance between the fishing vessel and Luomahu was nearly 900 nautical miles, or more than 1,600km.

Luomahu kept communication with the fishing vessel and guided it to sail toward it, adopting a mobility plan to move closer and rendezvous quicker in order to win valuable time for treatment.

After 33 hours of high-speed navigation, two ships met smoothly at 1 a.m. on February 27, local time.

However, it was difficult to see one nautical mile out of the dark sea. The only sound was the rushing waves hitting the ship. Such conditions were beyond the condition for safe operation of the dinghy.

Being asked about the status of the patient, fishing vessel Captain Zhang Wenying replied, "He is stable now, with no vomiting or pain," which brought relief to the officers and soldiers onboard the Luomahu. After thorough consideration, Luomahu decided to board the fishing vessel till the next day.

After one peaceful night, the rescue operations were carried out smoothly and well organized at dawn. Two small boats carrying medical personnel, equipment, medicine, and nutriment quickly moved toward the fishing vessel. The medical rescue team boarded the fishing vessel and quickly carried out physical examination for the patient.

Initial diagnosis indicated stones combined with the possibility of appendicitis, which was not life-threatening. Medical team then carried out emergency treatment, including anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antispasmodic methods.

After communicating with the captain of the fishing vessel, Guo Bizhuan, captain of the medical team on Luomahu, learned that the fishing vessel would dock at the Port of Salalah in Oman. Considering that the patient's condition had improved and kept stable, Captain Zhang and the patient decided to voyage to the port for follow-up treatment.

In order to create better conditions and win time for land treatment, the medical team of Luomahu left enough medicine for the patient and explained the precautions.

During the treatment, the medical team also carried out water quality testing and environmental disinfection for the fishing vessel and provided physical examination for other 15 Chinese crew members. The examination also confirmed that three fishermen had bladder stones and three fishermen had ECG abnormalities. The medical rescue team also left enough medicine for them.

Captain Zhang Wenying of the fishing vessel was very emotional, "Many thanks for our motherland. It is because of our strong motherland and strong navy that our officers and soldiers can travel from far away to help us!"

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