Torsten Henschell, NSRI Wilderness deputy station commander, said:
At 19h18, Monday, 02 November, NSRI Wilderness were activated following reports of a fisherman washed off rocks at Voelklip, Herolds Bay.
NSRI Wilderness, the SA Police Services, WC Government Health EMS and George Fire and Rescue Services responded.
It was determined that the 37 year old George fisherman had been fishing from rocks with friends when he was swept into the sea by a wave. The man, believed to be a strong swimmer, was encouraged by his friends to swim away from the jagged rocks, fearing he would be swept into rocks and injured, and they encouraged him to swim around the rocks towards Herolds Bay before, at last light, sight of the man was lost in the darkness.
An extensive search was launched including the setting off of illuminating flares, as well as search lights, shore patrols and the local community brought their private vehicles to the scene to illuminate the shoreline using their car’s headlights.
NSRI Mossel Bay launched their sea rescue craft, Rescue 15, which brought additional spotlights to aid in the search from the sea side, but despite the extensive sea and shoreline search no sign of the fisherman has been found.
NSRI Wilderness and Police are on the scene this morning continuing an ongoing search and our sea rescue craft Clemengold Rescuer has also been brought to the scene but there remains no sign of the missing fisherman.
Rhine Barnes, NSRI Melkbosstrand station commander, said:
At 19h00 on Monday the 2nd of November, NSRI Melkbosstrand, during a routine meeting at our sea rescue base in Melkbosstrand, were approached by a lady claiming her boyfriend, a 51 year old man from Tableview, had launched his paddle-ski, at Melkbosstrand, at around 1p.m. but he had failed to return and his vehicle remained parked at a Melkbosstrand beach front parking.
The lady had returned home from work and she had waited for her boyfriend to get home from the paddle as usual but when he failed to return she went to look for him finding his car parked and locked at a Melkbosstrand beach front parking area.
Our duty crew launched our sea rescue craft Rotary’s Gift and the SA Police Services were activated and a shoreline and sea search commenced.
A resident of Melkbosstrand then also approached sea rescue to express her fear that the man had been seen going paddling at lunch time but he had not returned.
Shortly into the search Police noticed a man return to the parked vehicle and Police approached the man and it was confirmed that he was the man that a search had just been launched for and he was safe and not injured.
According to the man he had been swept out to sea by strong winds. He estimates he had been swept about 5 km out to sea but he had later been able to reach the shore about 3 km North of the Koeberg Power Station.
He had dragged his paddle-ski along the beach until he reached the security fence at Koeberg Power Station where he abandoned it and walked along the face until he reached the Koeberg Power Station security fence.
Security guards gave him a lift to his vehicle where Police found him.
Koeberg Power Station security recovered the mans paddle-ski this morning.
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