NSRI have dealt with a number of incidents over this weekend.On Friday, 04th December, NSRI Gordons Bay launched to assist a mother and her son in difficulty on a canoe 500 meters off-shore of Gordons Bay harbour.A bystander had launched his surf-ski to assist but also got into difficulty while assisting the mother and son and a private boat launched, prior to NSRI launching, and was able to rescue all 3 persons who were not injured.NSRI recovered the canoe and confirmed that no one was injured.Also on Friday, NSRI Port Edward responded to Main Beach, Port Edward, where 5 young men, on holiday from Gauteng, aged around 22 years old, were swept out to sea by rip currents.All made it to shore safely prior to NSRI’s arrival on the scene, 2 of the men were transported to hospital for observation for secondary drowning as a precautionary measure.On Saturday, 05th December, NSRI Simonstown responded to Danger Beach, near to Kalk Bay, where a man was in difficulty in the water.The EMS/AMS Skymed rescue helicopter, WC Government Health EMS, CMR (Cape Medical response) and Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services responded.On arrival on the scene Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services confirmed that the man had managed to get out of the water and they treated him for non-fatal drowning symptoms and a CMR ambulance transported the man to hospital for further assistance.Also on Saturday ER24 ambulance services, Life Health Care response paramedic, Community Medics and NSRI Melkbosstrand responded to Table View Beach where a man suffered a non-fatal drowning after being swept out to sea by rip currents and he was treated on the scene by paramedics and transported to hospital by ER24 ambulance in a serious but stable condition.Also on Saturday NSRI Yzerfontein assisted two small rubber-ducks lost in dense fog at 16 Mile Beach, North of Yzerfontein, one boat had then suffered motor failure and the casualty boat was towed to Yzerfontein by NSRI and the second casualty boat was guided to Yzerfontein during the tow operation.On Sunday, 06th December, NSRI Hermanus responded to Schulphoek where a diver was reported missing.In thick fog the divers support boat had lost sight of the diver and the men onboard searched by boat and then along the shoreline by vehicle but after being unable to find their diver they raised the alarm.During a search NSRI Hermanus found the diver safe at a house along the shore.It appears that the man, from Vermont, had managed to swim ashore and he sought help at a house on the beach front. He was not injured.Also on Sunday, NSRI Gordons Bay, WC Government Health EMS, the EMS/AMS Skymed rescue helicopter, Law Enforcement Marine unit responded to assist Strand lifeguards who had launched a rescue operation for 3 men being swept out to sea by rip currents in dense fog at Strand Beach.Strand Lifeguards rescued the men who they brought out onto the beach and none of the men were injured.Also on Sunday, NSRI Melkbosstrand responded to reports of a jet-ski in difficulty off-shore of Slabbert se Klippe but on arrival on the scene no sign of a jet-ski could be found.The EMS/AMS Skymed rescue helicopter joined in the search but no sign of a jet-ski or persons in difficulty could be found and no persons have been reported overdue or missing and although the matter is being monitored an active search has been suspended.Also on Sunday, a 5 year old female was rescued from the water by bystanders at Maidens Cove, Camps Bay, following a non-fatal drowning accident and Law Enforcement officers escorted the parents with their child to hospital for medical treatment.SAFETY AT SEA AND AROUND WATER:NSRI are urging the public to be extra cautious around water and around the coast during the festive season and to be aware of rip currents and particularly the Full Moon and New Moon Spring Tides that cause stronger than normal rip currents around the coast and to have safety top of mind during the festive season vacation.
Safety tips can be viewed on our web site at www.nsri.org.za
At all times bathers and anglers should be aware of high tide, low tide and the resultant rip-currents that form constantly, often at different places along the shore-line.Sadly rip currents are the greatest cause of drowning accidents around the South African coastline.Rip currents are a river of water flowing out to sea against the incoming waves and are caused when the waves reach the shore-line rip currents allow water to be dispersed back into the ocean.Bathers and shoreline anglers are most at risk during a Spring Tide and extreme caution is advised:
Spring Tide happens twice every month, at full moon and at new moon.Spring Tides bring a higher than normal high tide and a lower than normal low tide, causing stronger than normal rip currents, for a few days leading up to the full moon OR new moon, peaking on the day of the full moon OR new moon and lasting for a few days after the full moon OR new moon. There are two high tides and two low tides every day. During Spring Tide the twice daily high tides are higher than normal and the twice daily low tides are lower than normal and while rip currents are always present the Spring Tide creates stronger than normal rip currents.Spring Tide lasts for a few days leading up to the full or new moon, peak on the day of the full or new moon, and last for a few days after the full or the new moon.Rip Currents are caused when the water reaching the shoreline in waves, swells and sea currents needs to find a way to retreat back into the sea and this is achieved in rip currents (a river of water retreating through the incoming swells back out into the sea).There are two types of rip currents, permanent rip currents, found alongside islands, rocky outcrops jutting into the sea, at river mouths, in between reefs and alongside harbour walls and piers, are found constantly occurring in the same place allowing the water reaching the shoreline to retreat back into the sea in the permanent rip current. Temporary rip currents, found along beach fronts (along the shoreline), are forever changing their position and are unpredictable and can form suddenly along a beach front without warning at different places along the shore front throughout the day. During Spring Tide these permanent rip currents and temporary rip currents are stronger than normal and although rip currents at all times pose a danger to bathers they pose the greatest danger during the Spring Tide.Rip Currents form at different places along the shoreline constantly throughout the day.Bathers are at risk of being swept out to sea by rip currents while swimming or wading in water along the beach front. Even bathers wading in shallow water who find themselves trapped in a rip current that forms suddenly are at risk of being swept out to sea by rip currents.Bathers caught in a rip current should not panic. Simply stay afloat by treading water (moving your arms and legs in circular movements), don’t try to swim against the current as it will only cause you exhaustion and let the current sweep you out to sea but at your first opportunity swim parallel to the beach front until you are free of the rip current and then use the incoming waves to get back to shore.While this is happening scream for help and wave your arm to alert people on the beach to raise the alarm.
If you are taking the family to the beach please go to beaches where and when lifeguards are on duty. Identify where the lifeguards are on the beach, show your children, and if you need help approach the lifeguards who will help you.Swim within the safe swimming demarcated zones the lifeguards place on the beach using their red and yellow flags.Lifeguards are looking out for where rip currents are forming and will ask bathers to move to between their red/yellow flags for the bathers own safety if they detect rip-currents forming where the bathers are swimming.Do not drink alcohol if you are going swimming or boating.Your swimming pool at home should be surrounded by a cloak of safety and children should not swim unless they are supervised by a responsible adult.Swimming in rivers, at river mouths, in dams, lagoons and lakes extreme caution should be observed at all times in these areas particularly where river currents, incoming and outgoing tides and the flow of water can be dangerous to bathers.Anglers fishing along the shoreline, particularly along rocks on the shoreline, are at greatest risk during the Spring Tide where incoming waves during the high tides engulf higher than normal over rocks. Anglers should not turn their back to the sea and should be vigilant and cautious of the wave action at all times while fishing. Boaters, paddlers, sail boarders and anyone launching any kind of craft onto water should wear their life-jackets at all times while on water and carry easily accessible safety equipment - red distress flares, communications cellphone or VHF radio with fully charged batteries in water tight plastic sleeves, a waterproof torch, highly visible neon coloured clothing, a referee whistle worn around the neck, a signalling mirror or CD disc (to use to shine against the sun) and let a responsible person know your time of departure, your exact intended route and your estimated return time and check in with the responsible person on your safe return. (If you are overdue the responsible person should raise the alarm without hesitation).If your craft capsizes stay with the floating craft. Do not try to swim ashore. Use your emergency capsize kit to recover safety equipment, set off red distress flares and phone for help.The NSRI wish everyone a safe summer season.To call Sea Rescue in a sea rescue emergency phone 112 from a cellphone.TO REPORT A SEA RESCUE EMERGENCY DIAL 112 FROM A CELLPHONESMS 32287 (R1/SMS) with your name and a message of support for our Sea Rescue crew