SEA RESCUE – NATIONAL – Saturday, 08th December, 2012. Hout Bay, Muizenberg and Richards Bay call-outs:
At 16h16 on Saturday 8th December NSRI Hout Bay duty crew were activated following reports from numerous eye-witnesses of a red distress flare sighted off-shore in the vicinity of The Sentinel, near Karbonkelberg, Hout Bay.
Lyall Pringle, NSRI Hout Bay station commander, said that NSRI Hout Bay volunteer sea rescue duty crew launched the sea rescue craft ALBIE MATTHEWS and responded. A small rigid inflatable boat, while returning from fishing, suffered damage to its hull and appears to have subsequently had its pontoons separated from the boats hull causing the three men onboard, all men from Hout Bay, to be swamped on their boat and they fired off a red distress flare to raise the alarm.
A local charter boat, NAUTICAT, that was in the area at the time responded to assist and rescued all three men while another private fishing boat, GREAT WHITE, which had also responded to assist took the damaged casualty boat under tow.
NAUTICAT took the men to Hout Bay harbour and the NSRI sea rescue craft took over the towing of the casualty boat from GREAT WHITE and towed the casualty boat to the harbour where it was recovered.
The cause of the bow suffering damage and the pontoons separating from the casualty boats hull is not known although it is suspected that this may have been caused by a wave breaking over the hull.
The skippers and crews of NAUTICAT and GREAT WHITE are commended for their swift action.
At 17h30 NSRI Simonstown volunteers were activated following reports that shark spotters on Boyes Drive, Muizenberg, were observing what they believed to be a body floating in the water off-shore of between Bailey’s Cottage and Muizenbergs Surfers Corner.NSRI Simonstown launched sea rescue craft and an NSRI rescue vehicle and NSRI Strandfontein dispatched a rescue vehicle, and Western Province Lifesaving lifeguards, Law Enforcement, Police and Police divers responded to the scene.Darren Zimmerman, NSRI Simonstown station commander, said that on arrival on-scene lifeguards confirmed that a body had been seen floating in the water off-shore of between Bailey’s Cottage and Muizenberg Surfers Corner and although the body could no longer be seen NSRI marked the location (Where the shark spotters and lifeguards claimed to have last seen it) using a floatation buoy and a Police Dive Unit will dive on the location tomorrow in an attempt to locate and recover a body.
There remain no reports of anyone missing or overdue that may be related to this incident but eye-witnesses claim to have seen an adult male sitting on a bench nearby prior to the body being sited. It is unknown if dentures, sunglasses and a hat, found lying on that bench could be related to this or perhaps belonging to the man and Police have taken over enquiries into this case.
At 18h20 Richards Bay volunteers were activated following reports of a drowning in progress at the Bay Hall area, a community swimming area inside of the Richards Bay Port.
Cornel du Toit, NSRI Richards Bay station commander, said that NSRI Richards Bay volunteers, an NSRI Richards Bay sea rescue craft, Police and Buhbesi private ambulance service responded and on arrival on-scene a 20 year old woman, was found ashore. She had been rescued from the water by bystanders. A man, aged approximately 40, remained missing.
It appears that the two had been swimming together towards Pelican Island when they got into difficulty in the water.
Paramedics resuscitated the female on-scene and she has been transported to hospital by ambulance in a critical condition.
A full scale search commenced for the missing man and after no sign of him could be found a Police Dive Unit was activated and during a dive search Police divers located and recovered the body of the man. It has been handed into the care of the Forensic Pathology Services.
The names have not been released by Police.
Police have opened an inquest docket.