KNYSNA HEADS – Thursday 27th October 2011. Two separate parties swept out to sea through Knysna Heads in strong spring tide rip-currents:
At 18h18 NSRI Knysna volunteer duty crew were called out following reports of surf-skiers reportedly in difficulty in Knysna Heads in strong currents during the outgoing spring tide.
Our NSRI volunteer duty crew launched JAYTEE III and SPIRIT OF KYC III and our NSRI 4×4 rescue vehicle was dispatched.
Four surf-skiers had been paddling at The Heads when one reportedly fell off his surf-ski and couldn’t get back on. He abandoned his craft and swam ashore after it became evident that his surf-ski was going to be dragged through The Heads.
He managed to reach rocks and clamber ashore. Two of his fellow surf-skiers went after his surf-ski, chasing after it through The Heads but it appears that they grew anxious for their own safety and then turned around to paddle back in to safety.
Our rescue boat met the two men coming back in through The Heads and they explained what had happened. They paddled to safety.
The rescue boat fetched the abandoned surf-ski out at sea, meanwhile the fourth paddler had also reached safety. He was treated for mild hypothermia.
All four men are locals.
As our rescue crews were returning from this operation we were alerted to a father and his two sons being swept out to sea on Indian canoes.
Our sea rescue boat, already at sea, diverted to the scene and our NSRI 4×4 rescue vehicle found the two children, aged 10 and 14, who had both managed to reach the rocks. They were obviously anxious about their dad who was being swept out to sea.
Our rescue boat caught up with their dad, 48 year old Harold Carolsfeld, from Germany, holding onto his capsized canoe outside The Heads.
He was taken aboard, his canoe was recovered, and reunited with his sons. He was also treated for hypothermia.