It was a busy weekend for the volunteer crews around the country. Three people were rescued by crews from Gordons Bay and Richards Bay, and Shelly Beach helped with a search for three people missing after a peddle boat capsized.
On Saturday, Shelly Beach volunteers were called to St Michaels Lagoon where two hired peddle boats had capsized with six people onboard. Three of the adults managed to get themselves out of the water. A teenager, and two girls, eight and three were reported missing. The bodies of all three were later found by the Police Search and Rescue team, using scuba gear. According to a representative of the hiring company all three were wearing lifejackets on departure. When the bodies were found none of them had life jackets on.
The Gordons Bay volunteers responded at 17h55 on Sunday to a woman and her 1 year old baby who were washed off the rocks at Steenbras river mouth. The 5.5 metre Douglas Murray and a Rescue Runner was launched and the mother was found 150 metres off-shore by the rescue boat. A huge search including the AMS helicopter failed to find the baby. Police divers will try to find the child’s body today.
According to Gordons Bay deputy station commander, Johan Rosenstrauch,“Eye-witnesses reported that the female had clung onto the baby for quite some time but after appearing to become exhausted had lost her grip on the baby who had disappeared beneath the surface.
“It appears, that the family had gone to the shore as a last farewell before the mother and daughter were due to return to Zimbabwe.”
Inquest dockets have been opened by the police on both the Gordons Bay and St Michaels lagoon drownings.
Richards Bay launched “ Spirit of Richards Bay” at 07h30 on Friday morning to tow in the yacht Comfortably Numb with 2 crew on-board. Reporting steering failure 26 miles off-shore the skipper had asked for help as they were battling 30 knot South Westerly winds and choppy 2 metre swells.