A dolphin was returned to the sea by bystanders and later a severely injured dolphin was humanely euthanised.
Ernie Schmidt, NSRI Jeffreys Bay deputy station commander, takes up the story:
We dealt with two dolphin stranding incidents in Jeffreys Bay today.
The first call came at about 07h50 this morning, Saturday, 07 January, reporting a baby dolphin stranded at Main Beach Jeffreys Bay. The call was initiated by Paul Makupula, from Jeffreys Bay Lifeguards.
Myself and my wife Elaine, who is also an NSRI crew member, responded to the scene. Elaine had recently done the Marine Animal Stranding Network course presented by Bay World in Port Elizabeth in conjunction with The Department of Environmental Affairs – Oceans and Coasts. Unfortunately, when we arrived on the scene it was found that the dolphin had been put back into the sea several times but it kept beaching. By the time we arrived it did not beach again. It appears that it was a juvenile Bottlenose dolphin. We stayed in the area for some 90 minutes in case there was another beaching. On leaving we briefed the lifeguards not to try to put the dolphins back in the water, but to rather call the NSRI to activate the Stranding Network who will deal with strandings in the appropriate manner.
Then at about 15h46 a call was received from the lifeguard Tim Baard at Kabeljous Beach. They reported a fairly large dolphin stranded, and that the dolphin had fairly severe wounds on its side and back behind the dorsal fin. Myself and my wife Elaine arrived on the scene, and we organised the lifeguards and some members of the public to assist us to deal with the animal ensuring that it suffered as little stress as possible while decisions were being made about the fate of the severely wounded animal. NSRI’s Michael van den Bergh was summoned to bring our NSRI Rescue Mobile to the beach. The dolphin was an adult, male, Striped Dolphin, reportedly a species very rarely seen in the area.
Dr Greg Hoffmeyer, of Bayworld, was contacted by Malcolm Logan who assists him in the Jeffreys Bay area. Dr Hoffmeyer immediately organised a Veterinary Surgeon from the local Oribi Animal Hospital, Dr. Kathy Bezuidenhout, to examine the animal. He also contacted Mike Meyer of the Department of Environmental Affairs – Oceans and Coasts to get approval and to advise on action in cooperation with the vet.
After examination by the vet it was decided that the wounds were too severe for it to live if it were put back into the sea. We arranged to take the animal to the Animal Hospital. Since we could not get the animal into the back of the NSRI Rescue Mobile, a member of the public with a pickup truck assisted us. Mr Pierre Hertzog, from Bloemfontein, and his two sons Hans and Dirk agreed to help (The Hertzog family happen to also be involved with the Oceanographic Research Institute (ORI) for whom they at times assist with the tagging of sharks).
The dolphin was loaded into a Stokes basket stretcher and transported off the beach to the pickup truck and then transported with a team of carers on the pick-up truck to the Animal Hospital where sadly, after all attempts to save the dolphin were exhausted the dolphin was humanely euthanised by Vets.
Everyone who assisted is commended in this incident.
NSRI urge the public to call NSRI in cases of Marine Animal strandings so that the Marine Animal Stranding Network can be activated.
Ian Gray, NSRI Port Elizabeth station commander, said:
Just after midnight, Saturday, 07th January, NSRI Port Elizabeth duty crew launched the sea rescue craft Eikos Rescuer IV to patient evacuate an injured sailor, a 39 year old Filipino crewman, onboard the 200 meter Cargo Motor Vessel Grand Legacy, sailing to Singapore, who had lacerations to his right arm sustained in an accident onboard.
The injuries had been treated by the ships medics and the patient required transportation to hospital for further treatment.
On arrival on the scene the sailor, walking wounded, was transferred onto our sea rescue craft and brought into the Port of Port Elizabeth and he has been transported to hospital by EC Government Health EMS ambulance for further treatment in a stable condition.
Then at 15h45 we responded to patient evacuate a male adult crewman with chest pains from the fishing trawler Harvest Lindiwe.
Accompanied by an EMS rescue paramedic we rendezvoused with the vessel 1 nautical mile off-shore and the patient was transferred onto our sea rescue craft and brought into Port in the care of the EMS rescue paramedic and he has been transported to hospital in a stable condition by EMS ambulance.
Our sea rescue craft Eikos Rescuer IV, our NSRI rescue vehicle, Coastal Water Rescue and the SA Police Services then responded to Schoenmakerskop, 17 nautical Miles West from the Port of Port Elizabeth following eye-witness reports of a small rubber duck with 2 men onboard suspected to being swept out to sea and appearing to have motor mechanical failure.
Despite an extensive search no sign of any persons or craft were found in difficulty. The Noordhoek Ski-Boat Club reported no craft to be overdue or missing from their slip-way.
The search was suspended suspecting that in the on-shore wind any craft in difficulties would have come ashore and by Sunday morning, with still no reports of anyone overdue or missing we believe that this may have been a false alarm with good intentions.
Andre Fraser, NSRI Mossel Bay station commander, said:
At 18h26, Saturday, 07th January, NSRI Mossel Bay duty crew were activated following a report of a drowning in progress at Hartenbos Beach.
NSRI rescue swimmers responded while we prepared to launch sea rescue craft but prior to arriving on the scene we were informed that the person was safely out of the water and not injured and no further assistance was required.
Vaughn Seconds, NSRI Strandfontein station commander, said:
At 08h30, Sunday, 08th January, NSRI Strandfontein duty crew were activated to assist the Police Dive Unit at Strandfontein Pavilion where a 22 year old man from Crossroads reportedly went missing in the surf at approximately some time in the region of 05h20 this morning after apparently going for a swim.
On our arrival on the scene Law Enforcement and the Police Dive Unit were in attendance but no sign of the missing man had been found and with the time that the man had reportedly gone missing a Police Dive Unit will continue with an ongoing search operation and Police have opened an investigation.
TO REPORT A SEA RESCUE EMERGENCY DIAL 112 FROM A CELLPHONE