The 24-year-old Filipino suffered a right leg compound fracture and a head injury after falling about six metres into a cargo hold on the 74,477-dwt Majorca (built 2005).

It was en route from Brazil to Singapore when it had to change course towards Durban, requiring urgent medical assistance.

Local authorities were in communication with the ship in order to provide medical advice for the patient.

The rescue helicopter landed on the vessel 50 nautical miles offshore and found the sailor in a serious but stable condition.