Monday and Tuesday, 10th and 11th December 2012.
At 19h00 NSRI Durban volunteer sea rescue duty crew were activated following a request for assistance from SA Police Services Search and Rescue at floods in heavy rainfall on the South Coast Kwa-Zulu Natal.
Our NSRI Durban volunteer sea rescue duty crew sent rescue swimmers to join the JOCC (Joint Operations Command Centre) at the Umdoni Fire and Rescue Services station at Umzinto.
In attendance were the Umdoni Fire and Rescue Services, SA Police Services, SA Police Search and Rescue, Medi Vac ambulance services, uThukela Municipality and NSRI.
On arrival it was confirmed that Fire and Rescue Services and Police Search and Rescue were deployed on taskings to assist people trapped by flood waters.
Sean Serfontein, NSRI Durban duty coxswain, said that NSRI volunteers were tasked by the Umdoni Fire and Rescue Services to join Police Search and Rescue members in an attempt to rescue 6 children and 1 adult trapped by rising waters on an island on the Umzinto River. Due to excessive flooding of the river these 7 people could not be reached and Police Search and Rescue members will attempt the rescue again at first light.
The joint rescue teams were then tasked to remove people from a housing complex in iFafa Club Marina Resort (South of Umzinto. This task was successful with 3 people being safely rescued from the Marina and houses and structures being checked for any further people trapped but there were none.
The team of rescuers were then tasked to respond to the Kwamashu area, Durban, where the Umhlangane River was in flood reportedly cutting people off and reportedly sweeping vehicles down river.
At Kwamashu, at Bridge City, the SAPS Search and Rescue squad assisted three people to safety. They had scrambled up scaffolding, to escape flood waters, on a construction site after abandoning their vehicle on the flooded bridge. All three were safely rescue by the SAPS Search and Rescue Squad.
NSRI volunteers and Police Search and Rescue were then tasked to assist where a mini bus taxi had been swept away from a fuel station on the corners of the M25 and the N2. On arrival on-scene it was found the Forecourt attendants of the fuel station had assisted by pulling a male occupant, believed to be the driver, free of the mini bus taxi safely.
At 03h00 NSRI were released to return to base.
Police and the Fire and Rescue Services, in conjunction with the uThukela Municipality were continuing to monitor for areas requiring assistance.
NSRI are aware that in numerous incidents the Fire and Rescue Services and Police continued to assist at various incidents throughout the morning including one incident where it was reported that people were trapped on a roof top in Clairewood.
NSRI remain on high alert to assist the Joint Operations teams that continue to assist with people displaced by the floods and the uThukela Municipality are fully mobilized to assist.It was confirmed to NSRI this morning (Tuesday, 11th December), by Police, that what was believed to be 6 children and an adult trapped on an island last night on the Umzinto River has now been reported to Police as 4 people (unknown ages) that were trapped on the island on the Umzinto River and Police Search and Rescue, aided by a Police helicopter, were continuing to search for the 4 people.NSRI remain on alert but have not been tasked with any additional search or assistance.Pictures by Sean Serfontein: