At 14h24, Sunday, 26th April, NSRI Strandfontein duty crew were activated by the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) following reports from fishermen of a body discovered while fishing in False Bay off Garbage Beach, near Mnandi Beach.
NSRI Strandfontein responded to the scene and the SA Police Services, a Police Dive Unit, WC Government Health EMS, Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services Dive Unit and Law Enforcement responded.
On arrival on-scene the body of an unidentified man was found on the beach. The body was secured and EMS paramedics declared the body deceased and Police Forensics teams attended to the scene.
It appears that fishermen at Garbage Beach had suspected that one of the fishing lines cast out to sea had been caught up in kelp but while reeling in the line it was discovered that the body of a man had been entangled in the fishing line and the fishermen pulled the body ashore and raised the alarm.
The body of the man, suspected to be in his early 20’s, was taken into the care of the Forensic Pathology Services and Police have opened an inquest docket.'
At 00h33, Monday, 27th, April, NSRI Hout Bay duty crew activated to begin searching for two fishing boats suspected to be overdue.
Earlier in the evening a crew member from the fishing boat GEELSTERT.COM reported to NSRI that he was at the harbour waiting for the fishing boat which had earlier told him that they were 15 nautical miles off Hout Bay and had run out of fuel. That they had arranged for another boat to bring fuel out to them and asked that the crewman wait for them at the harbour. After being unable to raise them by phone the crewman had become concerned and raised the alarm.
NSRI Hout Bay assisted by Telkom Maritime Radio Services attempted to raise the fishing boat by cell phone, on their satellite phone and by Marine VHF radio while NSRI also attempted to identify who had launched to take fuel out to the fishing boat (in order to try to reach them by phone or radio) but it seemed no one, not even family of the skipper, could raise them and no one had any information on who had taken fuel out to the fishing boat except for a trailer at the Hout Bay slip way which we suspected may have been related to the boat that took out the fuel.
By just after midnight with still no sign of the boats and with family becoming increasingly concerned and with no explanation as to why two boats at sea that were quite obviously overdue would not be monitoring their Marine VHF radio’s our NSRI Hout Bay duty crew prepared to launch our sea rescue craft to go in search of the two boats. Just as our sea rescue craft was being launched both boats arrived in the harbour. All were safe and no further assistance was required.'
It was a very busy weekend for NSRI Durban’s volunteers.
Saturday, 25th April, saw an early start for NSRI Durban’s volunteers with the Durban Ski Boat Festival starting at 06:30 with a mass sail past off-shore of Durban of 300 ski-boats led by the NSRI Durban sea rescue craft EIKOS RESCUER II.
Whilst returning from the sail past, and on entering port, one of the skiboats had a flash fire suspected to have been started from a cigarette and petrol fumes from overfull fuel tanks. This happened in the harbour channel. The sea rescue craft MEGAN II was on scene in seconds and assisted in helping the one crew man out the water, an adult male who had fallen overboard during the incident, and he was not injured. The fire was extinguished by the skipper and after a check over the ski-boat was found to not be damaged and they continued out of the harbour to go fishing.
Later in the morning the NSRI Durban duty crew responded to rendezvous with a returning ski boat which reported that one of her crew, an adult male, had collapsed on board. Arriving on the scene we found that the ski-boat had beached at Vetchies and the casualty was found to be in a stable condition suffering from known high blood pressure. He was treated on the scene by paramedics and after a later check up by Netcare 911 paramedics he was released to his family requiring no further medical assistance.
Whilst attending to this casualty a man in his mid twenties approached the NSRI medics and indicated that he was under medical treatment for blood clots and he was now experiencing pain in his left side body and extremities. After a medical check up it was established that he had only suffered from cramps and he was released into the care of his family and he required no further medical assistance.
The NSRI Durban duty crew then proceeded to attend the opening sailpast for the start of the annual Vasco Da Gama yacht race, from Durban to Port Elizabeth, which saw 17 yachts set sail for Port Elizabeth.
On Sunday morning, 26th April, the crew were back at the ski boat festival.
During the morning of Sunday a fisherman got a fish hook stuck in his hand and NSRI Durban were asked to evacuate him to the hospital emergency ward and once in hospital the fish hook was removed and his hand treated and bandaged and he is expected to fully recover.
At 11h00 on Sunday NSRI Durban demonstrated a mock rescue operation to the delight of the families of the competition fishermen on the Durban’s beach front.
At 00h57, Monday, 27th April, NSRI Durban duty crew were activated following reports from Inanda Dam Management, Msini Holdings, of a man reportedly missing for over 2 hours on Inanda Dam after embarking on a night swim across the dam, a distance of about 2 kilometres.
It appears that family of the missing man had launched a boat to search for the 47 year old man, who is from Hillcrest, but having not been able to find him and fearing for his life they alerted the Dam management who raised the alarm.
It appeared that they had heard him shouting from on the water but by that stage he was no longer in sight when the shouting then had stopped but a search by his family had revealed no sign of the man.
The family, including the mans wife, daughter, brother and his brothers family are camping at the dam and following a day of fishing the man had decided to go swimming.
We dispatched our sea rescue vehicle towing our sea rescue craft SPIRIT OF SVITSER and NSRI rescue swimmers who live nearby to the dam had responded including NSRI Durban coxswain Paul Dawson who launched his private boat TEECHA II onto the dam to begin a search.
Police Search and Rescue were activated.
During a search the man was found safe on the other side of the dam and wearing a wet suit and life vest it appears that he had realised the folly of the mission but he was already half way across the dam so he had decided to rather keep going but aware of the concern he must have been causing his family.
It is believed that the wet suit and life vest may have saved him from drowning.
The man was brought safely back to his family aboard TEECHA II and no further assistance was required.
Then as daylight broke over Durban, on Monday morning, our NSRI Durban duty crew were back at our sea rescue station to carry out a stand-by at the King of the Bay annual surfski competition in Durban harbour.
Whilst on stand-by a report came in of a missing fishing sea-kayak that was being blown out to sea by the South Westerly wind. The NSRI responded the sea rescue craft MEGAN II and the private boat ALICE skippered by an NSRI Durban coxswain. After 2 hours of searching without finding the casualty the deep sea craft EIKOS RESCUER II had also joined in the search when the craft and paddler were found safely ashore and no further assistance was required.
EIKOS RESCUER II during the search for the fishing Kayak. Picture Andre Fletcher.
The Sea Rescue stand at the competition.
The Durban Ski Boat Festival.
At 10h30, Monday, 27th April, NSRI Agulhas duty crew launched the sea rescue craft VODACOM RESCUER VII to rendezvous with yacht PLUMBOB, with 3 crew onboard, 2 men and a woman, all from Grabouw, sailing from Knysna to Gordon’s Bay and reporting water contaminated fuel.
It appears that during the night they had been forced to use the yachts motor in strong headwinds but found to their dismay that at least half of their fuel supply was water contaminated and unusable.
Not wanting to continue on the voyage without an adequate fuel supply they requested our assistance and we launched to meet up with them 7 nautical miles off-shore carrying fresh fuel and once delivered they continued on their voyage.