Saturday, 15th February, 2014. Incidents, Cape Town, Plettenberg Bay and Durban :
During the annual Discovery Moonstruck with Cape Talk 567 event at Clifton Beach on Saturday afternoon, NSRI Bakoven were activated to three separate rescue incidents.
First at 14h51 Bakoven volunteers were activated to respond to Oudekraal where a man was reportedly being swept out to sea by rip currents.
Prior to arriving on-scene it was confirmed by credible eye-witnesses that the person had managed to reach shore without assistance and was not injured and no further assistance was required.
Then at 15h11 a call was received of 5 people in difficulty in the surf at Glen Beach and prior to NSRI Bakoven arriving on the scene Clifton Surf Lifeguards confirmed that all 5 people had been assisted ashore and no one was injured and no further assistance was required.
Then at 18h54 a call was received from Charl Pauw and his daughter Clea, at Bakoven, of a group of people in difficulty, 300 meters off Bakoven, on a canoe and on a stand-up paddle board.
NSRI Bakoven responded on ROTARIAN SCHIPPER and on arrival on the scene found 5 people (2 men, a woman and 2 girls) clinging onto a capsized kayak and being swept out to sea.
All 5 people were rescued onto the Bakoven Sea Rescue craft and brought to the NSRI Bakoven rescue base where NSRI medics treated them for hypothermia and exhaustion and WC Government Health EMS ambulances were activated.
Following treatment for hypothermia and exhaustion all 5 were released not requiring any further medical assistance.
It appears that all 5 had been out on an afternoon paddle, a man, his wife and their daughter, on a kayak, and another man and a girl on a SUP (Stand-Up Paddle Board), when the canoe capsized in an off-shore wind that came up quite suddenly and increased to a gusting 25 knots.
The man on the SUP (with the girl) went to the assistance of the 3 on the capsized kayak but finding the dilemma of having to abandon the SUP, with the girl on it, to assist the three who were now clinging onto the capsized canoe. The 25 knot off-shore wind threatening to sweep the SUP out to sea with the girl still on it.
The man then got the girl on the SUP to abandon it so that all 5 casualties could stay together with all 5 in the water clinging onto the capsized canoe.
The SUP was swept away out to sea and all 5 people were now clinging onto the sea kayak and being swept further out to sea when the eye-witnesses raised the alarm.
Following all 5 being brought to shore by NSRI Bakoven and being treated for hypothermia NSRI Bakoven then re-launched their Sea Rescue craft to attempt to locate and recover the SUP but it could not be found and it is lost at sea.
All 5 people are Bakoven residents.
NSRI urges sea users to be aware and to be cautious of strong Rip Currents brought on by the Full Moon Spring Tide which will last into the middle of the coming week.
At 10h51, Saturday on 15th February, Plettenberg Bay volunteers were activated following eye-witness reports of two people being swept out to sea by rip currents at Dunes Resort, Keurbooms Beach.
They launched the sea rescue craft DISCOVERY Rescue Runner and RAY FARNHAM RESCUER and NSRI rescue swimmers responded directly to the scene. Medlife Ambulance Services also responded.
On arrival on-scene a couple, from Linmeyer, Johannesburg, were found on the beach and the husband, a 27 year old man was treated for near drowning symptoms and transported in a stable condition to hospital by a Medlife ambulance for observation for secondary drowning accompanied by his wife.
It appears that the two were swept out to sea by strong rip currents while swimming. The woman got to shore unassisted and when her husband got close to shore she was able to assist him.
At 15h30 NSRI Durban duty crew were activated following reports from the Commodore of the Pompano Fishing Club of a boat capsized in the Maiden Channel, Port of Durban.
The Sea Rescue craft MEDGAN II was launched while a passing boat rescued the two men from the capsized small recreational fishing boat, and prior to NSRI’s arrival on-scene a Bobby’s Angling Club boat took the capsized vessel under tow.
The NSRI crew on MEGAN II first confirmed that the two men who had been taken ashore by the passing boat (a Pompano Fishing Club boat) were safe and when this was confirmed they then went to check on the towing effort by the Bobby’s Angling Club boat. Finding the towing effort of the casualty boat to be well underway the NSRI remained on-scene until the casualty boat was safely brought to shore at the boat launch slip-way and then no further assistance was required and NSRI Durban returned to base.
It is not clear what caused the small boat to capsize.