PORT EDWARD – Saturday, 15th October, 2011. 2 rescued during whale rescue:
At 17h43 NSRI Port Edward volunteer duty crew were activated following reports of a whale wedged in between rocks and trapped at Grannies Pool, Port Edward.
NSRI Port Edward volunteer duty crew responded to the scene to investigate and KZN Wildlife Rangers were also summoned to the scene.
Alan Stilwell, NSRI Port Edward duty controller, said that on arrival on-scene a large crowd of bystanders were found trying to help the whale (a juvenile humpback whale) and it was decided to launch our sea rescue craft to return to the scene, as high tide approached, and attempts would be made to use the sea rescue craft from the sea side to free the whale.
While returning to the scene aboard the NSRI Port Edward sea rescue boat the situation escalated to reports of two men being swept out to sea at the same scene after four adult bystanders had gone into the surf to try to rescue the whale – 2 of the four men were swept out to sea by rip-currents.
When our sea rescue craft arrived on-scene the two men had been rescued by their two friends and our sea rescue crew treated them for near drowning symptoms, said Alan.
In the mean time the whale had been freed from the rocks by the incoming tide.
All four men were transported to hospital by Netcare 911 ambulance services for observation for secondary drowning.
This morning, Sunday, 16th October, the whale was found by Conservation Rangers washed up on the beach in Port Edward deceased.