Keryn van der Walt, NSRI Port Alfred duty coxswain, said: “On Saturday the 26th of January at 14h20, NSRI Port Alfred volunteers were called out following a request for assistance from the 9 meter sports fishing boat INGOLOZI with 9 crew on board reporting to be off the Kowie River Mouth harbour entrance, returning from a days fishing, and too heavy laden to risk attempting passage through the river mouth harbour entrance.
“The skipper reported that he was just not able to get his boat up and onto the ‘plane’ and felt that under the circumstances any attempt to enter the river mouth harbour entrance would be too risky with the 9 crew on board.
“Our NSRI duty crew launched LOTTO CHALLENGER and our 5.5 meter rigid inflatable sea rescue craft and on arrival on-scene, in 2.5 meter swells, we transferred 7 crew members from INGOLOZI onto our sea rescue boat. INGOLOZI was then able to get up and onto a plain. She made a safe passage into the harbour and the 7 crew members were brought safely into the harbour aboard our sea rescue craft.”
Judd Smook, NSRI Mossel Bay deputy station commander, said: “On Saturday the 26th of January at 16h45, NSRI Mossel Bay volunteers were called out following reports of a drowning in progress at Outeniqua Beach, Great Brak, near Mossel Bay.
“Our duty crew launched VODACOM RESCUER II and NSRI rescue swimmers responded directly to the scene in our sea rescue vehicle. The WC Government Health EMS rescue squad also responded.
“Our sea rescue vehicle arrived on-scene first and NSRI rescue swimmer Alf Meintjies swam out to the casualty who was found to be struggling in a strong rip current. He was being swept out to sea in a 1 and a half to 2 meter rough sea swell and breaking surf.
On reaching the casualty, about 30 meters off-shore, in the surf line, Alf secured the man, Johan van Eeden a local 37 year old, using a rescue flotation device, and together they were swept out and across the beach front before bringing them closer to the shore in the incoming currents. They simply stayed afloat with Alf keeping the Johan’s head above water using the rescue flotation device.
“Once they reached closer to shore 4 local surfers launched their surfboards and paddled out and they assisted Alf to bring Johan onto the beach where EMS paramedics assessed the patient who was found to be suffering from near drowning symptoms.
“An ER24 ambulance was summoned and the patient was transported to hospital in a stable condition for observation for secondary drowning.
“NSRI rescue swimmer Alf Meintjies is commended for his efforts.”