At 18h44, Friday, 23rd January, NSRI Richards Bay duty crew were activated by the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) following a request for assistance from the Meerensee Ski Boat Club reporting one of their club boats, the 18 foot Catamaran VISKRIKLIK that had run out of fuel at sea while fishing, with 2 crew onboard, skipper Clinton Vermaak, 35, and Calvin Vermaak, 28.
NSRI Richards Bay duty crew launched the sea rescue craft SPIRIT OF RICHARDS BAY and rendezvoused with the casualty boat 8 nautical miles South of Richards Bay, 2 nautical miles off-shore, in a 1 to 1.5 meter swell and 12 to 15 knot North Easterly wind, and found both men safe but without fuel for their motors.
A towline was rigged and they were towed to Richards Bay Port without incident and their boat was recovered onto their trailer and no further assistance was required.
At 16h52, Saturday, 24th January, NSRI knysna duty crew launched the sea rescue craft JAYTEE III and SPIRIT OF KYC and a sea rescue vehicle carrying NSRI rescue swimmers was dispatched to Coney Glen, Knysna, following eye-witness reports of a drowning in progress.
WC Government Health EMS, the SA Police Services, ER24 ambulance services and a Police Dive Unit also responded.
On arrival on-scene it was found that a local man, believed to be 34, had got into difficulty while swimming. It is suspected that rough sea conditions and rip currents may have contributed to the man getting into difficulty in the surf.
It appears that bystanders, unidentified to NSRI, were able to recover the man from the water and bystander CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) efforts had been commenced.
'SRI medics took over CPR efforts and were joined by NSRI Knysna’s station duty doctor but despite CPR efforts the man was declared deceased.
The body of the deceased man has been taken into the care of the Forensic Pathology Services and Police have opened an inquest docket.
Police trauma counsellors assisted family members. Our sincere condolences to the family.
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File picture of Jaytee III by Andrew Aveley.