Deon Langenhoven, NSRI Hermanus station commander, said: At 13h08, Tuesday, 27th October, NSRI Hermanus duty crew were activated following reports from the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of a drowning in progress at Castle Beach in Pearly Beach, between Hermanus and Struisbaai.
NSRI Hermanus dispatched our sea rescue vehicle towing our sea rescue craft Le Jenmar II and WC Government Health EMS, SA Police Services and a Sea Fisheries boat responded.
On arrival on-scene a search commenced for a 24 year old local man missing in the water after it was suspected he may have been caught in the Full Moon Spring Tide rip currents while swimming and he was reportedly swept out to sea before disappearing beneath the surf.
Despite an extensive search no sign of the man has been found and Police divers will continue an ongoing search operation and Police have opened an investigation.
Ian Klopper, NSRI Kommetjie station commander, said At 14h20, Tuesday, 27th October, NSRI Kommetjie activated following a request by the Department of Environmental Affairs – Oceans and Coasts to investigate reports of a large pod of whales close in shore, about 100 meters from Kommetjie Beach, and fears were that they may be Pilot whales beaching.
NSRI Kommetjie launched the sea rescue craft Spirit of the Vines and on arrival on-scene to everyone’s surprise but also relief we found at least 9 Pods of Humpback Whales feeding on Bait Balls close in-shore.
As the sea rescue craft arrived approached the scene the whales turned and headed towards the sea rescue craft and we found ourselves unavoidably caught in the path of at least 50 whales. To avoid any disturbance to the whales the motors of our sea rescue craft were switched off and we drifted until the pods of whales had passed and then monitored the whales from a safe distance until they were safely in deeper waters.
Pictures are posted to the NSRI web page www.nsri.org.za