Man plunges off container ship into sea

A MAN has been rescued from the North Sea today after he fell from a container ship 16 miles off the coast of Felixstowe.

At 6.15am the crew onboard the MSC Gina, a 57,000 ton container ship, alerted Thames Coastguard to the man who had fallen overboard.

The 27-year-old, was preparing a boarding ladder in readiness for a pilot to board the ship and guide it into Felixstowe, when the platform collapsed and he plunged into the sea.

He was not wearing a lifejacket or safety harness.

Thames Coastguard alerted the RAF Sea King search and rescue helicopter from Wattisham, the Harwich RNLI all weather and inshore lifeboats, two Harwich Haven pilot boats the Haven Hawk and St Brendan to the scene.

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Another boat, the Windcat 17, working at the Gabbard wind farm, was also diverted to help in the search and rescue mission.

The crew on board the MSC Gina kept sight of their colleague and when the St Brendan arrived at the scene they quickly plucked the man from the sea.

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He was taken to Felixstowe docks where paramedics stationed at the port treated him.

A spokeswoman for the coastguard said the man, who was from Montenegro, was suffering from hypothermia.

When the MSC Gina finally docked at the port at around 9.30am the man was returned to his crew.

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.”

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