As the condition of the passenger became critical, the captain decided to divert the flight to the nearest airport.
A FlySafair flight between Cape Town and Lanseria on Monday made an emergency landing in Bloemfontein to save a passenger’s life.
A passenger messaged The Citizen from Bloemfontein reporting that a male passenger had lost consciousness aboard the flight. It departed from Cape Town International Airport at 7:20am with 184 passengers on board.
“While cruising, the crew identified a passenger requiring medical assistance,” said FlySafair spokesperson Kirby Gordon.
“Equipped with basic first aid training, the crew promptly responded to the situation, notifying the captain and attempting to stabilise the passenger. A call was made for any medical professionals onboard to lend assistance,” he said.
“From what I could determine he lost consciousness,” the passenger recounted and estimated that the man was around 60 years old.
“According to the crew, the man was on blood pressure medication and likely suffered a stroke,” he added.
As the condition of the passenger became critical, the captain decided to divert the flight to the nearest airport for immediate medical attention.
“The flight safely landed in Bloemfontein at 08:43, where medical personnel were already prepared to assist. The passenger was stabilised in the ambulance and transported to the nearest hospital for further treatment,” said Gordon.
The flight departed around an hour later to complete the journey to Lanseria.
“All I can say that the staff were extremely professional,” the passenger told The Citizen.
“The captain was front and centre, and the passengers very respectful and cooperative. The cabin crew were seemingly a bit traumatised because the captain was reassuring one of them, but the crew were very caring and supportive towards the patient’s partner.
“The assistance rendered on board was also exemplary because the patient was able to walk himself off the aircraft, even if he was still visibly unwell from the ordeal.”
“Medical emergencies fortunately don’t happen all that frequently but our crews are all trained to manage them when they do,” said Gordon.
“Unfortunately, we have no specific information on how the customer is doing at the moment or what the nature of the emergency was but we pray for a speedy recovery for them,” he added.