At 04h20 on Thursday the 04th of July Hermanus duty crew were called out following reports of 3 men adrift at sea in the Betty’s Bay area (between Hermanus and Gordons Bay) with motor failure and uncertain of exactly where they were in rough seas with a 3.5 meter swell and wind gusting up to 40 knot South Easterly.
Deon Langenhoven, NSRI Hermanus deputy station commander, said: “The 3 men, aged 42, 32 and 26, from Hawston, near Hermanus, had launched the previous afternoon (Wednesday, 03 July) to test their 8.5 meter rubber-duck but at sunset, off Kleinmond, they had lost motor power and had drifted while trying to repair their motors. It appears that at around 22h00 last night they had asked friends of theirs to launch to come and help them but it appears that by the early hours of this morning the friends had failed to locate them and with a dying cellphone battery they then called NSRI to raise the alarm just after 04h00 today.
“Our Hermanus duty crew towed HUNTERS GOLD RESCUER which we launched at the Stoney Point slipway in Betty’s Bay and a search commenced in rough seas and very cold conditions and after the men could not be found and with their cellphone battery having now died the Red Cross AMS Skymed rescue helicopter was activated at first light to join in the search.
“Prior to the rescue helicopter arriving on-scene we were informed that the men had reached close to shore at Draad Baai and they had managed to swim ashore.
“Our NSRI rescue personnel met up with the three men and found them to be safe and not injured.
“Their boat remains tied to the shoreline at Draad Baai and they will make arrangements to collect the boat when the weather calms down.
“No further assistance is required.”
NSRI urge boaters in difficulty at sea to raise the alarm with the sea rescue authorities without any delay.