Sea Shepherd Saves the Life of a Tunisian Tuna Fisherman
M/Y BRIGITTE BARDOT - INCIDENT REPORT
Port of Registry: Fremantle, Australia
Reported by Captain of the Brigitte Bardot Siddharth Chakravarty
Name of fishing boat: TIJANI / SF 2305 / Flag - Tunisian / Description - blue hull with two white stripes
Position: 33 58 N; 014 08 E
Time: 1130 hours, June 10, 2011
At 1100 hours, as Sea Shepherd Conservation Society’s the Brigitte Bardot was passing a group of Tunisian purse seiners, our vessel was hailed on Ch.16 by a fishing vessel in French. We were informed that a fisherman onboard the Tijani had sliced his wrist and required urgent medical attention.
A bit skeptical after the morning's incidents of tuna boats making aggressive moves towards the Brigitte Bardot, Sea Shepherd Captain Siddharth Chakravarty of India requested that the fishing vessel follow the Brigitte Bardot one nautical mile out of the pack, while announcing to all other purse seiners that no one was to approach the Brigitte Bardot within half a nautical mile.
Captain Madjou of the Tijani was requested to send over a skiff with the injured man and one other person, and to stand off a minimum of two cables off the bow of the Brigitte Bardot. Captain Madjou sent over a skiff with three men.
Sea Shepherd received the injured fisherman named Lotfi on the Brigitte Bardot for our medic, Megan Jolley of Hobart, Australia, to attend to him. Lofti had severed the veins in his left wrist and was losing a great deal of blood. Jolley was able to stop the bleeding but because the wound was dangerously deep, it required internal stitching. Instead of using sutures, Jolley elected to put a pressure bandage on the wound, while advising the Captain Madjou that Lotfi would need hospitalization within 15 hours or the wound could be life threatening.
While the fisherman was treated, the other two fishermen were happy to chat and exchange information about their fishing activities in the area with the Brigitte Bardot crew.
The Brigitte Bardot made numerous attempts to hail the European Union Fisheries Inspection vessel on Ch.16 insisting we had a medical emergency and needed immediate attention, but received no response from them. We also kept all communication with the Tijani on 1W on Ch.16, hoping the other fishing vessels would change their hostile attitude.
With a new dressing, a bag of medicine, strict instructions, and a promise from Captain Madjou that Lotfi would head straight to a hospital, the fisherman was returned to the skiff and the Brigitte Bardot returned to shadow the fleet of the purse seiners.