It has been confirmed this morning, Monday, 16th June, that Bongani Nkohle is a staff member of Ocean Basket, Port Alfred, and he was not being interviewed for a job at the time, when he jumped into the Kowie River to try to rescue a runaway river cruise barge, but he was in fact in a staff meeting.
NSRI commend Mr. Nkohle for trying to help in this situation.
See original release below that incorrectly suggested that Mr. Nkohle was in a job interview.
At 09h56, Sunday, 15th June, NSRI Port Alfred volunteer crew were called following eye-witness reports of a river cruise barge broken her moorings in the 40 knot winds with no persons on board and drifting and being swept in the strong winds downstream of the Kowie River.
We launched our LOTTO CHALLENGER and responded to coral the unmanned runaway barge but on our arrival on-scene to our surprise we found 26 year old local Port Alfred resident Bongani Nkohle on the river cruise barge SARAH-JANE and he was being swept down river on the barge.
It appears that Mr. Nkohle was being interviewed for a job at Ocean Basket, Port Alfred, on the banks of the Kowie River when he noticed the river cruise barge break loose from her mooring and begin to be swept down river in the strong winds. Mr. Nkohle apparently told his interviewers that he has to go to rescue the boat, saying something to the likes of he can’t sit by idly while a potential tragedy unfolds in front of him, and fully clothed he leapt into the river and chased after the boat and on reaching the boat he clambered aboard but was unable to do anything once on board so he simply drifted with the barge until NSRI Port Alfred arrived on-scene.
We took Mr. Nkohle off the barge onto our sea rescue craft, he was cold in his wet clothing and we helped to rewarm him, and took up a tow-line to the barge and en route to taking the barge back to her mooring we dropped Mr. Nkohle off at the Ocean Basket where he continued with the interview.
The barge was safely re-moored and no further assistance was required.