Kite-surfers and windsurfers assisted – Misty Cliffs and Scarborough. CPR efforts and 2 men rescued – Melkbosstrand. Patient evacuation – Richards Bay:

By NSRI Richards Bay. The patient being transferred from the ship onto the sea rescue craft.

Ian Klopper, NSRI Kommetjie station commander, said:
At 13h59, Wednesday, 07th February, NSRI Kommetjie duty crew were activated following eye-witness reports of three kite-kurfers appearing to be in difficulty off-shore of Misty Cliffs.
The eye-witness reported two kite-surfers just behind the breaker line and one kite-surfer further out.
NSRI crew and coast watchers were alerted to keep a look out and our sea rescue craft Spirit of Winelands was launched.
While responding to the scene we were then informed by our NSRI crew on the shoreline of a wind surfer appearing to be in difficulty off-shore of Scarborough.
It appears that in all cases a sudden drop in wind in heavy sea conditions with a 3.5 meter swell had caused the wind sailors to be unable to get up in the lull in the wind.
As our sea rescue craft neared Misty Cliffs we found that two of the kite-boarders had come ashore safely, unassisted, and the third kite-surfer (all adult males) was closer towards the shore and now in the surfline and making good progress and swimming with his kite and gear towards shore and the decision was taken to continue towards the reported windsurfer in difficulty off-shore of Scarborough to investigate.
As we were approaching Scarborough we found that another windsurfer, an experienced Pro windsurfer, a male aged approximately 25, from the United Kingdom, had launched a windsurfer from the shore and he had gone to the assistance of the casualty windsurfer, a male, aged 22, also from the United Kingdom, and they had swopped windsurfer boards, the experienced Pro windsurfer taking a shorter board and giving the casualty windsurfer a long board as a floatation aid.
We took the casualty windsurfer onboard our sea rescue craft and recovered his windsurf board and gear and we then towed the Pro windsurfer (on the second wind surf board) out of the protected lee of the mountain to where stronger winds were blowing which enabled the Pro windsurfer to sail back to shore safely without assistance and we kept the casualty windsurfer on our sea rescue craft. (Both British wind surfers are staying in Big Bay, Bloubergstrand).
We then noticed another windsurfer in trouble in the breakers in the surfline and also unable to get his wind surf up in the lull in the wind and we went to his aid finding him to be a 40 year old German male, staying in Milnerton, and he was taken aboard our sea rescue craft and his windsurfer and gear was recovered.
It was too rocky along that stretch of coastline and the swells too big to take them directly to the shore so both of the windsurfers were brought to the Kommetjie Slip Way aboard our sea rescue craft without incident and their wives collected them there and no further assistance was required.
NSRI Kommetjie trainee coxswain Jami Marnitz was commended for being coxswain on this rescue operation, her first rescue operation at the helm of the sea rescue craft.



Unintentional confusion crept into this report and we apologise.

The pro lifeguards had run all the way from the beach and were first on scene. Craig mis-understood this to be the NSRI lifeguards.

We hereby correct the statement and state that the pro lifeguards were in attendance and first on scence.

Rhine Barnes, NSRI Melkbosstrand station commander, said:
At 15h56, Tuesday, 06th February, NSRI Melkbosstrand lifeguards, NSRI Melkbosstrand medical crew, Community Medics, Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services, ER24 ambulance services and Melkbosstrand Neighbourhood watch were activated after our NSRI Melkbosstrand lifeguards had come across an adult male collapsed in the parking lot by Standard Bank, Melkbosstrand.

Our NSRI lifeguards had assisted to get the man into the bank where they initiated CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) efforts.
The lifeguards were joined by NSRI Melkbosstrand medics and then by paramedics from CoCT Fire and Rescue Services, Community Medics and ER24.
CPR was then continued in an ER24 ambulance and the patient was transported to hospital where CPR efforts continued in hospital but sadly, after all efforts were exhausted, the man was declared deceased by doctors.
Condolences are conveyed to family and friends.
At 18h33, Wednesday, 07th February, NSRI Melkbosstrand were alerted by a local car guard who had witnessed two men capsize on a small canoe after launching the canoe to attempt to go to fish beyond the breaker line in rough 3.5 meter swells and despite not wearing life-jackets.

The canoe was swamped by waves and sunk.
NSRI Melkbosstrand lifeguards launched Malibu Rescue Boards to go to the aid of the two men, one from the United Kingdom and one a local, both aged in their mid 30’s, and on reaching the men they were secured by the NSRI lifeguards using the rescue boards.
Our duty crew launched the sea rescue craft Spirit of Brenda and on reaching the scene both men were taken aboard the sea rescue craft and brought safely to shore.
Both men were treated for mild hypothermia and once re-warmed they required no further assistance.
Their small canoe is expected to wash out on the beach.

Norman Rautenbach, NSRI Richards Bay duty coxswain, said:
At 16h00, Wednesday, 07th February, NSRI Richards Bay duty crew were activated to respond to rendezvous with the Bulk Carrier Esperier that had turned around and was heading back towards Port after a Greek crewman, aged in his mid 40’s, had suffered a serious head injury while working onboard the ship.
We launched our sea rescue craft Spirit of Round Table II, accompanied by an ICE ambulance service rescue paramedic, and on arrival on the scene, 4 nautical miles off-shore of Richards Bay, at anchorage, we sent an NSRI rescue swimmer, an NSRI rescue technician and the ICE rescue paramedic onboard and the patient was stabilised by the paramedic while we set up a technical extrication device.
The patient was transferred onto our sea rescue craft secured into a bosuns bag and medical treatment continued onboard the sea rescue craft and the patient was brought into the Port of Richards Bay.
The patient has been transported to hospital by an ICE ambulance in a serious but stable condition and we have wished him a speedy recovery.


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3 Responses to “Kite-surfers and windsurfers assisted – Misty Cliffs and Scarborough. CPR efforts and 2 men rescued – Melkbosstrand. Patient evacuation – Richards Bay:”

  1. Bernie Chicken
    08. Feb, 2018 at 08:51 #

    Well done yet again folks

  2. Dylan
    08. Feb, 2018 at 12:43 #


    I would just like to inform you that the Big Bay Lifeguards were one of the first on the scene and assisted throughout the incident at Standard Bank for the patient that needed CPR.
    Some recognition would be greatly appreciated as it is not just NSRI that got involved.
    Next time you should take Big Bay Lifeguards into account.

    Thank you

    • NSRI
      09. Feb, 2018 at 11:11 #

      Hi Dylan
      Thank you for commenting. You are quite correct. There was an unintentional misunderstanding regarding the reporting.

      In the words of Station Commander, Rhine Barnes: “Dylan is correct and justifiably upset because they were not mentioned, when in fact they did a great job.

      I will try to be more clear when speaking of lifeguards to ensure that we distinguish between Pro (CoCT), BSLC and NSRI lifeguards as all three are often intertwined on our beach.

      There was no omission from my side and I am certain none intended from Craig’s side. It was a miscommunication about the “category” of lifeguard that responded.

      I sent Christine a communication last night after Craig called me. I explained that it was not intentional and to please extend my apologies to the two pro guys who both come from Blouberg Surf Lifesaving Club (BSLC) and to also let them know that they did a really great job.”

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