Sea Rescue – National – 31 December, 2010: URGENT APPEAL FOR THE PUBLIC NOT TO SET OFF RED DISTRESS FLARES TO SEE IN THE NEW YEAR; 2 incidents – Jeffries Bay and Melkbosstrand.
On the night of the 29th December, at 18h10, NSRI St Francis Bay launched the sea rescue craft Spirit of St Francis II following eye-witness reports of red distress flares spotted off-shore of Jeffries Bay.
An extensive search lasting until midnight revealed no sign of any vessel or persons in distress and there are no reports of any vessel overdue or missing and the flare activation is being treated as suspicious.
At 10h09, on the morning of the 30th December, NSRI Melkbosstrand and the Discovery Surf Rescue helicopter responded to 500 metres off-shore of Melkbosstrand beach where eye-witnesses reported a kite-boarder drifting in the direction of the Koeberg Power station and appearing to be in difficulty and unable to get his kite airborne.
On arrival on-scene the Discovery Surf Rescue helicopter found the adult male swimming towards shore and his progress was monitored until he was safely ashore and NSRI medics met him on the beach where it was confirmed that he was in not injured and required no further assistance.
NSRI are appealing to the public not to set off red distress flares unless they are in a dire life threatening emergency situation.
We are particularly appealing to the public not to set off red distress flares on New Year’s Eve.
Where red distress flares are reported along the coast the NSRI have no option but to launch sea rescue craft to investigate.
Any inland activation of red distress flares presents a fire hazard and emergency services are activated where red distress flares are set off inland to investigate the reasons for the activation of red distress flares.