Shelly Beach, KZN-Natal South Coast:
On Friday the 29th of March, NSRI Shelly Beach crew were called out at 12h00 to assist a 29 year old Brazilian woman on board the Dive Charter Boat AQUA PLANET who had hurt her back while launching through the surf.
Mark Harlen, NSRI Shelly Beach station commander, said that the NSRI rescue craft CALTEX CHALLENGER was dispatched and the lady was immobilized on-scene, behind the breaker line, just off Shelly Beach. She was brought to Shelly Beach on CALTEX CHALLENGER and handed into the care of Medivac ambulance services paramedics who took her to hospital in a stable condition.
Then just after 13h00 they responded to the same area to assist African Dive Adventures dive charter boat that had one engine fail while coming back from a charter dive. We took 5 people off their boat to lighten the load and they came in safely and beached. We brought the other 5 passengers in on our sea rescue craft.
Then at 16h35 the duty crew responded again to the same area to assist the fishing boat WILD THING, also with motor failure, and CALTEX ENDEAVOR towed them safely to shore, said Mark.
Gordons Bay, Cape Town:
On Saturday afternoon the 30th of March the Gordons Bay crew responded to Strand Beach following reports of a paddler overdue and missing. In winds gusting to 50 knots NSRI Strandfontein were also alerted. Soon afterwards Strand Surf Lifesaving confirmed that the paddler had come ashore safely and both sea rescue stations were stood down.
Durban – KZN–Natal:
On Saturday the 30th of March at 19h36, our Durban crew were called out following reports of two people fallen out of a canoe in the harbor in the Port of Durban. Prior to arriving on-scene the Transnet National Ports Authority confirmed that both people had been picked up by a private boat and that they were safe. Our NSRI duty crew stood down as we were no longer required and we obtained no details of the two people who were reportedly not injured.
Port Edward, KZN-Natal South Coast:
On Sunday the 31st of March NSRI Port Edward crew responded to the Umtamvuna River to assist a group of locals to get across the river which was in flood.
We were called at 02h30 on Sunday by the Police to assist a group of locals to get across the river which was in flood, said Alan Stilwell, NSRI Port Edward duty controller. On arrival on-scene we found the river levels to be subsiding and we waited until the river levels subsided sufficiently and then walked the group across the river.
Then at 05h00 on Sunday we responded to the same river to assist Police who reported that a man was thought to be in difficulty in the river but on arrival on-scene it was found to be a false alarm with good intentions said Alan.
Then at 07h30 we responded to reports of a person swept off the bridge at the Tongazi River but on arrival on-scene that was also found to be a false alarm with good intentions.
Our NSRI crew then stayed on the bridge with the Police until 11h00 as a precautionary measure, assisting people to cross the bridge over the swollen river, until the water subsided sufficiently and the bridge was safe to cross. We then returned to base.
At 12h43 on Monday the 1st of April the Port Edward volunteers were called out following reports from uBunthu Lifeguards of a drowning in progress at the Glenmore Lagoon, at Glenmore Beach, 4 kilometers North East of Port Edward.
On duty uBunthu Lifeguards, Police Search and Rescue and our NSRI Port Edward duty crew responded. On arrival on-scene our Discovery Rescue runner was launched onto the lagoon to join uBunthu lifeguards searching for a 7 year old boy who had gone missing in the lagoon.
According to initial reports, it appears that a large family of holiday makers, mostly from Gauteng, (the 7 year old child and his family are from Kempton Park, Johannesburg) had walked to the beach from their holiday accommodation and some of the children, including teenagers, had run ahead to the beach, said Alan Stilwell, NSRI Port Edward duty controller.
We believe that they had crossed the lagoon on their arrival at the beach, swimming and wading to get to the other side, when the 7 year old got into difficulty in the lagoon, and he disappeared under water, said Alan.
An extensive search commenced and the Police divers located and recovered the body who was confirmed to be deceased.
The body of the child has been handed into the care of the Forensic Pathology Services and Police have opened an inquest docket.
Family of the deceased child are being assisted by the Police.
Richards Bay – Northern KZN-Natal:
At 16h08 on Sunday NSRI Richards Bay crew responded to the Amatikulu River, 70 kilometers South of Richards Bay, towing ROTARY ANN, following reports from Netcare 911 ambulance services that they were responding to reports of a drowning at the river.
On arrival on-scene paramedics treated a man for near drowning symptoms and our NSRI sea rescue craft ferried 3 local men across the river who had swum to the other side of the river but could not get back through the swollen river.
The man treated by paramedics for near drowning symptoms had got into difficulties while swimming across the river but he chose not to go to hospital following treatment on-scene.