Rescuers kept on the hop


At 20h12, Thursday, 04th January, NSRI Gordons Bay duty crew responded to off-shore of Rooi Els following eye witness reports of two men on a rubber-duck waving towards shore and appearing to be in difficulty.

The sea rescue craft Jack and Irene was dispatched and the sea rescue vehicle responded to the roadside and on arrival of the sea rescue vehicle it was found that the 2 men had deployed a distress smoke marker confirming that they were in distress.

On arrival on the scene of the sea rescue craft in pitch darkness with no moon no sign of the men could be found so we switched off our motors and shouted into the night, said Alan Meiklejohn, NSRI Gordons Bay station commander, and after doing this a few times we eventually got a shout back from the men and they were found safe but adrift on their boat which had suspected fuel contamination causing motor failure.

One pontoon of their boat was waterlogged and NSRI Gordons Bay took them under tow and towed them without incident to Gordons Bay harbour where GB Med Security ambulance services were standing-by and the 2 men were treated for mild hypothermia and re-warmed before being released and their craft was recovered and no further assistance was required.


At 14h36, Friday, 05th January, NSRI Wilderness and NSRI Mossel Bay were activated to a response to Glenrana following reports of a drowning.

Paramedics arriving on the scene confirmed that a 53 year old male, from Rheebok, was out of the water and paramedics had initiated CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) efforts.  After exhausting all efforts at CPR the man was declared deceased by paramedics.  The body of the man has been taken into the care of the Forensic Pathology Services and Police have opened an inquest docket.


At 14h20, Friday, 05th January, NSRI Shelly Beach duty crew launched Spirit of Shelly to assist the vessel Tackle Box with mechanical motor failure.

A husband, his wife and their son, from Pretoria, and the skippers wife were transferred onto Spirit of Shelly at the backline off-shore of Shelly Beach and the skipper and a crewman were able to bring Tackle Box safely ashore under reduced power and the 4 crew were brought safely ashore aboard Spirit of Shelly.


A joint effort between Big Bay Blouberg Surf lifeguards and NSRI Melkbosstrand during friday afternoon, 05th January, 2 kite-boarders in difficulty in 2 separate incidents and in both cases the kite boarders made it safely to shore. One rescued by the surf by the Blouberg Suf Lifesaving lifeguards on a rescue rubber-duck.

Rhine Barnes, NSRI Melkbosstrand station commander, has commended the fantastic close working relationship between NSRI and Lifesaving (between Milnerton and Melkbosstrand).


At 21h24, Friday, 05th January, NSRI Strandfontein were activated following a request for assistance from a concerned family reporting a 74 year old male family member suspected to be missing on the Marina at Marina Da Gama after failing to return from a paddle.

It is suspected that he had departed to paddle to another residence on the Marina earlier in the day. When family arrived home in the early evening he was not at home and he was not at the other residence.  The canoe he had been paddling on was also not found raising concerns that he may be missing on the Marina.

Local Neighbourhood Watch and friends and a large community effort had started a search. The SA Police Services were called and responded and NSRI Strandfontein dispatched a jet-ski and rescue swimmers, Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services dispatched their Fire Dive Unit and jet-skis, NSRI Kommetjie dispatched rescue swimmers and and a sea rescue craft, NSRI Simonstown dispatched a search support team and CMR (Cape Medical Response) dispatched a medical rescue crew.

A Police Dive Unit and WC Government Health EMS remained on alert.

During an extensive search the canoe was found during the early hours of the morning appearing to be washed ashore raising concerns that the man was missing in the Marina.  A search continued for the missing man but after no sign of the man was found, during the early hours of the morning, a search was suspended.  A search resumed at 07h30, Saturday, 06th January, with the assistance of a Police Dive Unit and a Police helicopter supported by Fire and Rescue Services Dive Unit and NSRI Strandfontein and a large group from local Neighbourhood Community Watch and the community.

It has been revealed that the canoe had been found on Friday afternoon by a resident who thought nothing of a canoe found floating on the Marina and he had recovered the canoe to his yard thinking it had been abandoned or washed off a nearby yard.

From early this morning, Saturday, 06th January, Police divers spearheaded the ongoing search operation during the morning and Police jet-skis, an NSRI Strandfontein wave runner “Film Industry Fund Rescuer One”, and a Police helicopter and Police divers deployed into the water.  The family continued being supported by the community and by authorities.

Sadly, during the ongoing search, the body of the man was located and recovered by Police divers and the body will be taken into the care of the Forensic Pathology Services.

Police have opened an inquest docket.

All emergency services teams on the scene have expressed condolences to family and friends.

The public and community support and assistance is to be commended


Picture Andrew Ingram / Sea Rescue


No comments yet.

Leave a Reply