Sea Rescue – Western, Southern and Eastern Cape – 10 June, 2011: Flood assistance – East London, Mossel Bay and parts of Southern Cape. Deceased fisherman evacuated off Chokka Fishing Boat and medically injured fisherman evacuated off Chokka Fishing Boat:
NSRI East London were busy from the early morning on Friday 10 June assisting at flooding on the Nahoon River after water overflowed from the dam wall causing water levels to rise considerably. Some houses were at risk of flooding, barges on the river, were at risk of being swept away and there was some risk to property, persons and animals.
Swift action saw a joint emergency services response where barges along the lower reaches of the lagoon were secured, while emergency services monitored rising water levels which caused no major damage.
A barge owner was rescued after his barge was briefly swept away by rapid flowing water but the incident was minor and dealt with swiftly before any incident occurred.
Geoff McGregor, NSRI East London station commander, said that later in the afternoon at around 14h30, attention was diverted to the Buffalo River where water began to breach the lip of the Buffalo River Dam wall. Some yachts were moved by our NSRI volunteers. By last light the river levels were subsiding.
At 14h20 on Friday 10 June NSRI St Francis Bay responded aboard the Spirit of St Francis II to just outside of the harbor entrance following a request for urgent medical assistance from the Chokka Fishing Boat SeeKat reporting a crewman onboard to have collapsed from possible medical reasons.
Mark May, NSRI St Francis Bay station commander, said that on arrival on-scene NSRI medics confirmed that a 32 year old local fisherman was found dead onboard and the body of the deceased fisherman was brought to shore.
While no foul play is suspected police will investigate and it appears that the cause of death was from natural medical causes but an autopsy will be performed to confirm the cause of death.
At 16h50 NSRI St Francis Bay responded to 3 nautical miles off-shore of St Francis Bay to casualty evacuate an ill fisherman with suspected appendicitis, from the Chokka Fishing boat Mia Barka.
A 25 year old man was transferred onto the sea rescue boat and brought ashore before being transported to hospital by Private Care ambulance service in a stable condition.
On Wednesday 08 June from approximately 13h00 NSRI Mossel Bay assisted the emergency services with flooding in the Kleinbrak area. People and pets were evacuated from rising flood waters and removed to a community hall.
NSRI Mossel Bay volunteers used their Surf 420 rescue craft Vodacom Rescuer IV to assist in the transportation of persons and animals, affected by the severe weather and rising waters, to safety along flooded roads.
NSRI Mossel Bay station commander Dawie Zwiegelaar said that the joint emergency services were more than prepared to deal with any incident and no injuries, fatalities or major damage was caused. By last light only a skeleton crew of emergency services personnel remained on scene to monitor the situation as water levels subsided, said Dawie.
NSRI rescue stations around the country have been on high alert since Monday to assist with any emergencies related to the severe weather.
NSRI Plettenberg Bay, NSRI Wilderness and NSRI Knysna responded to a number of severe weather related “hot spots” where roads flooded or river levels rose considerably but no serious incident was recorded.
Graeme Harding, NSRI Knysna station commander said that NSRI Knysna were called to close the Gouna Road at the Gouna River crossing for a brief period on Wednesday 08th June and that the effort was precautionary until river levels dropped.