YZERFONTEIN – Microlight accident:

Picture by Dave Lehr,the giro pilot who helped locate the crash site.


NSRI confirm that NSRI Yzerfontein volunteers accompanied by First Choice paramedics were 200 meters from the crash site, after hiking about 2 kilometers from the beach to the crash site, when the EMS Skymed helicopter arrived on-scene and airlifted the casualties, the injured man to hospital and the uninjured woman to Yzerfontein. NSRI and the First Choice paramedics were no longer required on-scene and they hiked back to the NSRI vehicle at 60 mile Beach.

NSRI only assisted with the logistics for the uninjured female passenger once she arrived in Yzerfontein.

It has now come to light that two Gyrocopters had assisted in the initial search and  had originally located the aircraft and directed the EMS Skymed helicopter to the scene. One flown by Dave Lehr, who is also a volunteer with the Police Dive Unit, and one flown by Jean Tresfon.

Their assistance is appreciated.

Original report :Thursday, 09th August, 2012:

Rudi Rodgers, NSRI Yzerfontein station commander, said:

“At 15h51 on Thursday, 09th August, NSRI Yzerfontein volunteer sea rescue duty crew were called out following a request for assistance from First Choice medics who had been activated by Atlantic Medical Response to join in a search following reports of a Microlight aircraft, with 2 persons onboard, crashed between Yzerfontein and Saldana Bay in the vicinity of 60 mile beach.

“Our  Yzerfontein volunteer  duty crew responded in their NSRI 4×4 rescue vehicle carrying the First Choice paramedics and on arrival in the vicinity they began to search inland hiking 2 kilometers before reaching the wreckage of the Microlight aircraft 2 kilometers inland from the beach and 7 kilometers from Yzerfontein.
“Dave Lehr, a Gyrocopter pilot, from Morningstar airfield, and SA National Park rangers were also searching.

“At the same time as our arrival on-scene the Western Cape Government Health EMS rescue helicopter, Skymed, also arrived on–scene.

“The woman passenger, Sarie Brits, 49, from Tableview, Cape Town, was not injured. The pilot, Dirk Coetzee, 46, from Tableview, Cape Town, had sustained a suspected dislocated right shoulder and a pelvic injury. He was airlifted by Skymed to Milnerton Medi-Clinic in a stable condition.

“Sarie Brits was airlifted to Yzerfontein and handed into the care of NSRI Yzerfontein sea rescue crew medics to assist her with logistics to return home.

“According to Sarie they had flown from Saldanha Bay to Atlantis and were returning to Saldanha Bay when the Microlight allegedly ran out of fuel. “She told NSRI that on their descent they hit a sand dune causing the Microlight to crash land.”



4 Responses to “YZERFONTEIN – Microlight accident:”

  1. Rudi Rogers
    09. Aug, 2012 at 21:46 #

    Well done to my fellow crew members at Station 34!
    A great example of how more than one station, ambulance services and other organisations can work together to come to the aid of those in need of it!

  2. Jean
    09. Aug, 2012 at 22:20 #

    Actually the crash site was found after an aerial search by Dave Lehr and Jean Tresfon in their gyrocopters. Dave subsequent radioed the site co-ordinates to Johan Froneman who was attempting to reach the site in his 4×4 with us guiding him from the air. Realising that the site was difficult to reach in time by 4×4, the decision was made to call for an airlift and Dave called in the Skymed helicopter. Not entirely sure that “a gyro pilot also joined in the search” is exactly accurate given that the site had been identified and photographed from the gyros at least one hour before the NSRI arrived! Just saying…

  3. Len
    12. Aug, 2012 at 13:07 #

    Well done to all involved in a successful rescue.

    I cant help but notice that the NSRI arrived an hour after the crash site was found, the rescue Heli is already there. Then they publish a story as if they did anything? I hate the sensationalism that Netcare 911 (the NSRI too now it appears??) try to generate from unfortunate events such as these for their own free exposure. Cheap shot, if true.

    • andrew
      12. Aug, 2012 at 18:08 #

      Dear Len,
      Our NSRI volunteers were activated by 2 Private ambulance services in Yzerfontein who had been told that a 4×4 was necessary to get to this scene!

      Unbeknown to NSRI (possibly because this type of incident falls out of our normal practice) the incident had been live for a good two hours without our knowledge.

      NSRI picked up the Private paramedics and rushed to the scene (still thinking it was all happening) but could only reach 2 kilometers from the scene so they hiked in and saw the Skymed helicopter land! (Not knowing that this was already the second trip that the helicopter was making)!! … and also not knowing that the 2 Gyrocopters who initiated EMS (not NSRI) had left the scene probably an hour and a half before NSRI even got wind of this.

      After hiking to about 200 meters from the scene, where there was a Cape Nature conservation ranger, and being informed that they were no longer necessary the NSRI and the private paramedics, who had only good intentions, left to hike home.

      NSRI did help a little bit in getting the uninjured female to transport from Yzerfontein.

      The initial press release is entirely my fault. I misunderstood some communications and I have already been severely wrapped over the knuckles by Dave Lehr and subsequently Jean’s dry humor. I have apologized to Dave, and to our Station Commander and I’m sure Dave has passed my comments on to Jean.

      I take your criticism on the chin too.

      I have tried to rectify my botched press release by handing credit to those due credit in an update although I accept it is too late.

      Of course the other services involved have ignored my folly I guess because everyone knows that NSRI seriously give credit where its due and make every effort to reach the facts.

      Send me your contact number and I will phone you to extend my sincerest apologies personally.

      Craig Lambinon 

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