TABLE BAY and YZERFONTEIN:
On Friday afternoon, 08th January, NSRI Bakoven launched the sea rescue craft Rotarian Schipper on a request to deliver a tracking device to the peddle boat Herbivore reportedly departed from The Royal Cape Yacht Club, with a mother and her son (50 year old female, from Durban and a 27 year old male, from Cape Town) onboard, to peddle to Rio De Janeiro.
In rough sea conditions the tracking device, which they had apparently mistakenly left behind, was delivered to the peddle boat in Table Bay and they continued on their voyage.
On Saturday, 09th January, at 09h00, a concerned husband of the woman requested NSRI Yzerfontein to launch a search for the peddle boat as their tracking system appeared to show them adrift 10 nautical miles off-shore and while NSRI Yzerfontein was placed on alert no formal distress had been called by the peddle boat.
As a precaution NSRI Yzerfontein launched the sea rescue craft Rotary Onwards, but with no direct communication with the crew on the peddle boat and only a last known position being recorded 6 hours earlier, no sign of the casualty boat could be found in the rough sea conditions hampered further by the casualty boat color being white against a back drop of rough sea white waters.
MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre) placed an SA Air Force 22 Squadron Dakota aircraft on alert but with still no formal distress call from the crew onboard the peddle boat no further action was immediately necessary.
Later on Saturday afternoon NSRI Table Bay were activated following a request for assistance from the 2 crew on the peddle boat reporting that the 50 year old lady was suffering severe motion sickness.
In rough seas and strong winds (gusting up to 60 knots) NSRI Table Bay launched the sea rescue craft Spirit of Vodacom to rendezvous with the peddle boat 12 nautical miles off Bokpunt.
On arrival on scene the mother and her son were taken off their boat onto the sea rescue craft and attempts were made to tow the paddle boat; but in the rough sea conditions the towing effort was hampered and the boat was towed to a sheltered anchorage at Dassen Island and left there. The mother and son were brought safely to Port in Table Bay arriving at 01h00.
They will make arrangements to recover their peddle boat from Dassen Island.
SAMSA (South African Maritime Safety Authority) will investigate.
At 12h27, Wednesday, 06 January, NSRI Gordons Bay launched the sea rescue craft Spirit of Surfski following eye-witness reports of red distress flares being fired from a rubber-duck 1 nautical mile off Cool Bay, between Gordons Bay and Gansbaai, with a man and a woman onboard from Gordons Bay.
On arrival on scene the casualty boat was underway and heading towards Gordons Bay but the young man and his girlfriend confirmed that they were experiencing motor mechanical problems and NSRI Gordons Bay assisted to get them to Harbour Island. Once safely in the harbour they required no further assistance.
On Friday, 08th January, NSRI Mossel Bay and the emergency services responded to Vleesbaai following reports that a paddler’s emergency signalling device had been deployed indicating that he was in difficulty.
On arrival at Vleesbaai the sea rescue craft Vodacom Rescuer II was launched and the paddler was located but he was very apologetic and explained that he had accidentally activated his emergency device and he required no further assistance.
On Saturday, 09 January, at 11h15, NSRI Hermanus launched the sea rescue craft Hunters Gold Rescuer following reports of red distress flares witnessed being fired from off-shore of Skulphoek, between Hermanus and Sand Baai.
An 8.5 meter rigid inflatable boat with a Hermanus family onboard, 5 adults and 2 children, had suffered motor mechanical failure and a suspected ruptured fuel tank. They deployed an anchor which snapped causing them to drift towards rocks and at risk of being swept ashore.
They fired red distress flares and the boat Benguela 17, that was nearby at the time and that witnessed the red distress flares came to their assistance and reached them with only minutes to spare before being swept by currents onto rocks.
The crew aboard Benguela 17 rigged a tow-line to the casualty craft and were able to pull them to deeper waters when the NSRI Hermanus sea rescue craft arrived on the scene and took over the tow and towed them safely to Hermanus Harbour where they required no further assistance.
The crew of Benguela 17 are commended for their quick action.
NSRI Shelly Beach launched the sea rescue craft Discovery Rescue Runner at 14h45, on Saturday, 09th January, following reports of a drowning in progress at Oslo Beach, Shelly Beach.
On arriving in the area a 15 year old male, from Durban, was seen struggling in the water 200 meters off-shore. As the sea rescue craft approached, the teenager kept disappearing under water. Once alongside him he had completely submerged and NSRI rescuers were able to reach him and pull him onto the sea rescue craft.
The teenager was brought to shore suffering severe non-fatal drowning symptoms and paramedics treated him for non-fatal drowning symptoms. He was transported to hospital in a stable but serious condition be Medivac ambulance.
The teenager is expected to make a full recovery.
At 17h47, Saturday, 09th January, NSRI Kommetjie launched the sea rescue craft Spirit of the Vines following reports of a Stand Up Paddle Boarder (SUP) in difficulty off-shore of Long Beach, Kommetjie.
On arrival on the scene it was found that the local paddler had been assisted ashore by surfers who had gone to his assistance. The paddler was not injured.
NSRI searched for the man’s board which was located and recovered and returned to the paddler and no further assistance was required.
The surfers are commended for going to the paddlers assistance.