Station 22 Vaal Dam have a busy Weekend:
Saturday 04 February search:
At 21:35 we received a call from Deon Pretorius, a crew member of Station 22 who had been contacted by “Hennie” to report a ski boat out on the dam that had run out of fuel. Dick Manten, Station Commander, and Phil Medlock, crewman, launched “Harvey’s Fibreglass” to begin a search for the stricken vessel. The casualties were unable to identify exactly where they were to their family and unfortunately, during the first call from NSRI to the casualties, their cell phone battery died and we were then unable to further confirm their position.
We proceeded in the direction they had originally intimated and went up the Wile River to the area known as Tombstones but were unable to find them. We then searched back along the dam all the way to South Bay but once again, we were unable to find the casualty. Telephone conversations with family proved unproductive and we eventually stepped down after receiving a third party report that a family member of the casualty crew had taken fuel to them by land although they were still unable to describe where the boat was.
Sunday the 5th motor vehicle accident:
At 15:30 on Sunday the 5th February a member of the Deneysville Residents Against Crime (DRAC) made a radio call reporting a traffic accident on the Vereeniging/Heidelberg/Villiers (R54 and R549) intersection approximately 10km out of Deneysville.
Station Commander Dick Manten and crew member Phillip Medlock proceeded to the accident scene to assist. This intersection is a very dangerous one with limited visibility from any of the road directions. We were particularly concerned as we were aware of the hundreds of sailors who were traversing that road on their way home after the Round The Island Yacht race. A truck collided with a car that had been doing a u-turn in the middle of the road.
NSRI Crew together with the DRAC patrol were at the accident scene for about three hours warning and diverting traffic in order to prevent any further accidents. Four people died and two were seriously injured. ER Paramedics assisted the injured parties and took them to hospital. There was one traffic department officer and two SAPS officers at the scene.
Sunday Round The Island Yacht Race:
The annual Round The Island Yacht race was held on the Vaaldam on the 5th February 2012. This is the largest Inland regatta in the world and the event currently holds the Guinness World Book of records for the most number of finishers. There were 378 entries of which 320 finished. A reasonable average wind speed of 10 knots prevailed throughout most parts of the day. Harvey’s Fibreglass and The Discovery Rescue Runner 11 were launched at approximately 06:30 in order to provide standby for the regatta.
The Discovery Rescue Runner assisted a Dart catamaran that capsized just prior to the start.
A Hunter 19 known as “Fundi” with a young single handed sailor was unfortunately T-boned by a trimaran shortly after the start. The trimaran was unable to manoeuvre out of the way quickly enough and hit the Hunter amidships causing damage to the hull deck and breaking the rudder. Harvey’s Fibreglass established a tow and towed her back in to port at LDYC.
A female patient was transferred to Harvey’s Fibreglass from a 22′ Formula One known as “Joint Venture” suffering anaphylaxis from an as yet unidentified cause. The rescue vessel was met at Manten Marina by the paramedics from EZRA who were on standby at LDYC for the RTIR event. The patient was handed over to them for further treatment.
A Hobie 16 was assisted after their mast fell down. The Formula One “London Calling” was towed off UJ Island after running aground.
The Nimbus 900 “Sirius” was towed off UJ Island after running aground.
The Discovery Rescue Runner and Harvey’s Fibreglass remained on the water ensuring that all the competitors were safe and sound but there were no major incidents. The Transvaal Ski Boat Club also assisted LDYC with rescues in the event of any accidents or boats requiring a tow.