Friday, January 05, 2007
A Sydney Harbour accident that caused a man to have a heart attack and forced the amputation of his right leg could have been worse if ferry crews had not recently received safety training, the NSW Government said. The fisherman in his 60s was injured when his dinghy and the Dawn Fraser rivercat collided about 7am (AEDT). The man's son, in his 30s, was also injured. The rivercat was on its way from the Balmain shipyard to Circular Quay for its first run of the day when the collision occurred near Dawes Point, on the harbour's northern shore, Sydney Ferries chief executive Rear Admiral Geoff Smith said.
Dawn Fraser RivercatThe rivercat stopped, radioed Harbour Patrol and remained in position while the ferry Charlotte picked up the two men. The ferry crew performed CPR on one of the men and first aid to both until they were handed over to ambulance officers on land. NSW Transport Minister Eric Roozendaal praised the crew's actions. "Safety is the number one priority for Sydney Ferries and we've seen the implementation of all the recommendations from OTSI (Office of Transport Safety Investigations) in relation to improving safety," he said. The Ferry Charlotte"I want to commend the crew of the Charlotte for using their training ... to get these two people out of the water and apply immediate medical attention until they could them to the wharf." Mr Roozendaal said police, NSW Maritime and the Office of Transport Safety were investigating the accident. Rear Admiral Smith said: "I am very proud of them. We've put a lot of effort in over the past 12 months in improving our safety and our training. I think we are seeing that every day on the harbour." Standard procedure alcohol test results had come back negative for all crew, with drug test results due in two days, Rear Admiral Smith said.