At 16h46 on Thursday the 26th of June, NSRI Port Elizabeth volunteer sea rescue duty crew were activated following eye-witness reports of 2 kite boarders being swept out to sea at at Sardinia Bay main beach in the direction of Schoenmakerskop.
Our NSRI Port Elizabeth volunteer sea rescue duty crew responded by road towing sea rescue craft to be launched on-scene while NSRI volunteer ground crews responded to the area approaching from the popular kite-boarding launch site at Sardinia Bay and approaching from the Schoenmakerskop side, converging on a rural barely accessible part of the coast along the Sacrameto Trail (in the vicinity of the 1647 Portuguese ship the SACRAMENTO wreck) where eye-witnesses had lost sight of two kite-boarders as they appeared to be swept from Sardinia Bay in an Easterly direction towards Schoenmakerskop.
The SA Police Services, a Police Dive Unit, a local private Abalone Anti Poaching task force, The Nelson Mandela Bay Beach Managers Office and Coastal Water Rescue were activated and responded to assist NSRI in the search and rescue operation.
On arrival on-scene eye-witnesses along the Sacramento Trail confirmed to sea rescue crews of seeing two men paddling towards shore towards a rocky gully along the Sacramento Trail and prior to sea rescue craft being launched our rescue crews came across both men safely ashore and heading towards Sardinia Bay on foot.
Both men were found to be safe and not injured.
It appears that Josh Dippenaar, 21, from Port Elizabeth, who is a Stellenbosch University student had gone kite-boarding after knocking off from work for the day, but while kite-boarding he was forced to abandon his kite and paddle ashore after being unable to get his kite airborne.
“Josh then borrowed a fellow kite-boarders kite to launch to go in search of his kite that he had abandoned at sea and another fellow kite-boarder, Jovan Wright, 25, from Port Elizabeth, launched his kite-board to join Josh in the search but while both of them were kite-boarding in search of the missing kite they were both forced to abandon their kites at sea and while trying to paddle to shore they were swept around Sardinia Bay in an Easterly direction towards Schoenmakerskop before eye-witnesses lost sight of them being swept around the Bay behind where the rocky part of the Bay begins and the eye-witnesses raised the alarm.
Both men were brought safely to Sardinia Bay by NSRI but all three kites from today’s ordeal are lost at sea.
Josh has shown a keen interest in joining sea rescue and he had only recently requested an opportunity to get first hand experience of what sea rescue is all about and I guess today he got that first hand experience.
NSRI commend the eye-witnesses for their quick reaction in raising the alarm.