NATIONAL – TUESDAY, 27th DECEMBER, 2011. CAPSIZE HOBIE ASSISTED AND SEARCH REVEALS POSSIBLE FALSE ALARM WITH GOOD INTENTIONS:
Port Elizabeth duty crew were called out at 18h37 on Tuesday, 27th December following eye-witness reports from an Alberton family at a restaurant on Marine Drive, in the vicinity of Humewood, claiming to have seen what they suspected to have been a person (possibly a body) floating in the sea about 400 meters off-shore.
NSRI launched the sea rescue craft BOARDWALK RESCUER and Police and Coastal Rescue assisted with a shore search. As night fell NSRI launched the sea rescue craft SPIRIT OF TOFT to join in the search but no sign of any person (or body) could be found and no reports of any person missing or overdue was reported.
Earlier in the day a buoy had been seen floating in the area but it is not confirmed what the Alberton family, a mother and her two daughters, had seen.
The search was called off at 20h45 and while it is suspected to have been a false alarm with good intentions NSRI and Police will continue to monitor the situation.
At 16h00 on Tuesday, 27th December NSRI Richards Bay duty crew were called out following reports from a harbour tug boat that a Hobie Cat with 2 people on board had capsized at Buoy 12 in the Port of Richards Bay in the shipping lane.
Richards Bay volunteer crew launched SPIRIT OF ROUND TABLE and on arrival found a husband and wife, from Johannesburg, both regular visitors to Richards Bay, struggling to right their Hobie Cat sailing craft which had capsized.
NSRI assisted them to right their craft and offered to tow them to the small boat harbour but they were happy to sail themselves to the small boat harbour, said Dorian Robertson, NSRI Richards Bay station commander.
While NSRI were returning to base it was noticed that the two had capsized again and NSRI returned to the scene and de-rigged their sails, righted their craft, and towed them to the small boat harbour where they required no further assistance.