SEA RESCUE – EAST LONDON, PLETTENBERG BAY AND CAPE TOWN – Friday, 15th and Saturday, 16th February, 2013. Drifting yacht assisted, one man still missing from a drowning, a boat capsizes and a surfer airlifted to hospital:
EAST LONDON (2 incidents):
Geoff McGregor, NSRI East London station commander, said:
“At 21h30, on Friday, 15th February, NSRI East London volunteer sea rescue duty crew were activated following a request for assistance from the yacht KYENA II, with 2 male crew onboard, reporting to have a damaged motor, damaged sails and adrift at sea.
“The yacht, sailing from Richards Bay, had suffered storm damage to her motor and to her sails while sailing through Transkei waters. “They had managed to sail closer towards East London before their makeshift sails failed and they called for assistance adrift at sea.
“Our NSRI East London volunteer sea rescue duty crew launched our sea rescue craft LOTTO RESCUER and responded to rendezvous with the drifting yacht. We also instructed the skipper of the yacht to lay out a drogue to slow the yachts drift.
“On arrival on-scene, 30 nautical miles from East London, in 2 meter swells, we took the casualty yacht under tow and towed her safely to the Port of East London where once berthed, at 03h30 this morning, Saturday, 16th February, they required no further assistance and they will effect repairs to their yacht. No injuries were sustained.
“Then this afternoon, on Saturday, 16th February, our NSRI East London volunteer duty crew responded to Eastern Beach following reports of two people in difficulty in the surf.
“All 3 of our NSRI rescue craft were at sea at the time nearby to the scene and responded and the SA Police Services and the EC Government Health EMS rescue helicopter responded (with an NSRI rescue swimmer onboard).
“Buffalo City Municipality (BCM) lifeguards, on duty at the beach, rescued a local man believed to be 21 years old, he has been transported to hospital in a serious but stable condition.
“Our NSRI rescue craft and the EMS helicopter joined the BCM lifeguards in a search for the remaining missing male, a 22 year old local, and despite an extensive search the man remains missing.
“Police are continuing a search and have opened an inquest docket.
“It is suspected that the two men were swimming at the time and may have been caught in rip-currents.”
Deon Truter, NSRI Plettenberg Bay station commander, said:
“At 06h30, on Saturday, 16th February, NSRI Plettenberg Bay volunteer sea rescue duty crew were activated following reports of a rigid inflatable boat, with 4 people onboard, a woman and 3 local men capsized in the Keurbooms River Mouth, Plettenberg Bay.
“Almost all of our NSRI Plettenberg Bay volunteer sea rescue crew were camping on the Keurbooms River banks at the time, on stand-by preparing to assist in a fishing competition which takes place today, and they immediately launched their private boats and responded, arriving only minutes after the boat capsized, and finding all 4 casualties hanging on to the upturned hull of their boat, and successfully rescuing all 4 and recovering their boat.
“Our NSRI Plettenberg Bay duty crew had already launched our sea rescue craft SALLY JOAN and our Discovery rescue runner, from our sea rescue base, and on arriving on-scene took all 4 casualties onboard the sea rescue boat and brought them to our sea rescue base.
“The woman, aged in her late teens, was taken to hospital by her father as a precautionary measure and she has been released following treatment for shock.
“The remaining 3 young men, aged in their late teens and in their early twenties, were not injured.
“They are all from Plettenberg Bay.
“Their boat has been recovered.
“The boat was heading out to sea to go fishing at the time of the capsizing but was not part of the fishing competition taking place today.”
NOORDHOEK, CAPE TOWN:
Tom Coetzee, NSRI Kommetjie station commander, said:
“On Saturday, 16th February, at 11h42, NSRI Kommetjie and CMR (Cape Medical Response) responded to Dunes, a surfing spot on Noordhoek Beach, in the vicinity of the Kakapo wreck following reports of a surfer injured while surfing.
“On arrival on-scene a 27 year old, Newlands, Cape Town, surfer, was found on the beach suffering a suspected spinal injury reported to have occurred while he was surfing. It appears that the surfer may have aggravated a previous spinal injury but this has not been confirmed.
“The patient was stabilized and full spinal immobilization was applied as a precautionary measure, by NSRI and CMR paramedics, and the Base 4 Aeromedical Services helicopter was dispatched and the patient has been airlifted to hospital by the Base 4 Aeromedical Services helicopter in a serious but stable condition for further medical assessment and treatment and it is reported that doctors have confirmed he has suffered a compression fracture of the cervical spine.”