The Port Elizabeth NSRI duty crew spent their new years eve at sea, forgoing their celebration to help a sailor who needed to be medivaced off a ship near Koega.
At 21h50 on Monday, 31 December, the NSRI volunteers at Port Elizabeth were called out for a medivac from the 202 metre container ship Priwall.
The crewman who needed to be taken ashore, complaining of headaches, was transferred to the PE rescue boat Spirit of Toft at 23h20 and handed over to the ships agent at 00h05 on the 1st January 2013. The agent took him to hospital for evaluation.
STATION 18 MELKBOSSTRAND:
The NSRI duty crew at Melkbosstrand did a standby at their rescue base form 07h00 to 19h00 on Tuesday 01 January 2012.
According to duty coxswain Kobus Meyer, the Melkbosstrand beach started filling up at 06h30 this morning and by mid morning was completely full. The beach and grassed areas were moderately protected from the wind, but out of the bay sea conditions were extremely bad.
The Melkbosstrand volunteers had their rescue vessel, Discovery Rescue Runner 4, on the water patrolling just behind the waves for most of the day and in that time rescued 6 people who got into difficulty.
STATION 30 AGULHAS:
At 18h00 on 1 January 2013 the Agulhas NSRI volunteers were called out for a Hobie cat overturned with two people on board off the Argonauta camp site at Struisbaai. The rescue boat I&J Rescuer II was launched.
According to Reinard Geldenhuys, Agulhas NSRI station commander, the two sailors had broken their mast but with the help of two kite boarders managed to rig a sail and get themselves back to shore without assistance from Sea Rescue. NSRI then got a call for a kite boarder in trouble on the Western side of the bay and responded to that but the kite boarder had managed to get to safety without assistance.
STATION 10 SIMONS TOWN:
At 13h02 on Tuesday 1 December Sea Rescue Simons Town was called out for a Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) that fired flares off Cape Point.
The Simons Town volunteers, in their rescue vehicle, responded to the scene at the Cape of Good Hope Beach whilst their rescue boat, Spirit of Safmarine III, was launched.
According to Darren Zimmermann, NSRI Simons Town station commander, they found one of the boats that were taking part in the Trans Agulhas inflatable boat challenge had missed turning into False Bay and run out of fuel off Cape Point.
They had capsized twice at South West Reef, both times managing to right their boat, and, quite correctly, stayed with the boat as it was washed to the shore at Cape Point.
Arriving at the Cape of Good Hope beach, Darren pulled on a wetsuit and went into the water to help the two crewmen ashore. Spirit of Safmarine III was stood down and the two men were treated on the beach by Cape Medical Response paramedics for severe hypothermia and then taken to the Simons Town Sea Rescue base for a hot shower before being released uninjured.
During this rescue NSRI learned that another entrant in the Trans Agulhas inflatable boat challenge was missing. A full scale search was activated and Kommetjie NSRI was called out. Hout Bay and Gordons Bay NSRI were put on stand by. The METRO AMS helicopter Skymed, TNPA rangers and the SA Police were also activated.
Shortly after 15h00 it came to light that the missing racing boat had, like the racing RIB that ran aground at Cape of Good Hope beach, run out of fuel and was found off the Radison Hotel in Table Bay.
The search was stood down.