At 17h30 on Monday the 4th of January, NSRI Air Sea Rescue (ASR) were activated following reports of a 37 year old Hout Bay fisherman suffered serious injuries and reportedly trapped in a winch aboard the Hout Bay fishing trawler Christo Rei 30 nautical miles South West of Slangkop Lighthouse.
A WC Government Health EMS duty doctor provided medical advice to the ships Captain and crew in an effort to stabilise the patient and an SA Air Force 22 Squadron Oryx helicopter was scrambled carrying NSRI ASR rescue swimmers and WC Government Health EMS rescue paramedics to respond to rendezvous with the fishing trawler.
It appears that the casualty had been caught in ropes and a winch machine during normal fishing operations and crew aboard the trawler confirmed that they had managed to cut the patient free from the entrapment but reported the patient to be in a critical condition. The duty doctor continued to relay medical advice (assisted by Telkom Maritime Radio Services) while the rescue team responded.
On arrival on the scene a NSRI ASR rescue swimmer and an EMS rescue paramedic were winched aboard the trawler and they treated the patient for a partially amputated right arm and multiple fractures to his right arm and suspected fractures to both legs and suspected rib fractures.
The patient was secured into a specialised stretcher and hoisted into the helicopter with the 2 rescuers and treatment continued onboard the helicopter en route to Groote Schuur Hospital in an effort to stabilise the critically injured patient.
Metro Control put Groote Schuur Hospitals (GSH) trauma team on alert to prepare for the arrival of the helicopter and on landing at GSH at 19h53 the GSH trauma team took over treatment of the patient who remains in a serious but stable condition and he is expected to make a full recovery.
NSRI Kommetjie were activated by the Tansnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) following eye-witness reports of a suspected life-jacket seen floating in the water in amongst kelp off Slangkop Lighthouse.
On arrival on the scene what appeared at first to be a deployed divers emergency buoy (that may not have fully deployed) was seen floating off-shore in amongst the kelp and fearing for the safety of a diver suspected to be in difficulty NSRI Kommetjie launched a sea rescue craft to make a closer investigation.
Environmental Safety officers, who were in the area at the time, were requested by NSRI to monitor the operation in case the floating object was tethered to crayfish nets (Crayfish season ended on Sunday 03 January).
A rescue swimmer was deployed from the sea rescue craft to investigate but found instead 2 childrens inflatable arm bands tethered to a small crayfish net.
2 Crayfish found in the net were released back to the ocean with the Environmental officers witnessing the release. (it is suspected that the owners may have been crayfishing on Sunday but failed to recover their net – no foul play is suspected).
The net and the 2 inflatable arm bands were recovered from the scene and brought to shore in an effort to remove them from the scene and to avoid additional confusion and concern as the inflatable arm bands gave the appearance of a life-jacket or a divers emergency buoy floating in the surf
Shortly after returning to the NSRI sea rescue base the Law Enforcement Marine Unit were quick to approach NSRI Kommetjie suspecting them of Crayfishing but were satisfied after being briefed on the situation.
At 14h55 on Monday the 4th of January, NSRI Mossel Bay and WC Government Health EMS responded to Dias Beach to assist lifeguards attending to a suspected drowning accident.
On arrival on scene paramedics treated a 17 year old male from Johannesburg for suspected spinal injuries. He was transported to hospital by EMS ambulance in a stable condition.
It appears that the patient and his brother were playing with a ball in the water when the 17 year old dived into the water sustaining an injury to his neck.
Lifeguards recovered the 17 year old from the surf managing him for suspected spinal injuries before handing him into the care of EMS paramedics.
At 14h45 on Sunday the 3rd of January, NSRI Mykonos duty crew launched sea rescue craft and dispatched rescue swimmers to the Jetty at the SA National Parks offices on Langebaan Lagoon following reports of a mass drowning in progress.
The SA Police Services and WC Government Health EMS also responded.
2 adults and 2 children, all males from Malmesbury, caught in an outgoing tide, got into difficulty while swimming.
A military officer threw a life-buoy attached to rope and rescued 2 children and one adult from the water (only one child was injured).
On NSRI’s arrival on the scene a search commenced for the one adult male, aged 41, who had disappeared under water and a Police Dive Unit joined in the search and the body of the man was located and recovered and declared deceased by paramedics. His body was taken into the care of the Forensic Pathology Services.
The injured child, suffering non-fatal drowning symptoms, was transported to hospital by EMS ambulance in a stable condition for observation for secondary drowning.
The one child and the surviving adult were not injured.
Police have opened an inquest docket.
At 16h31 on Monday the 4th of January, NSRI Gordons Bay duty crew responded to Dappat se Gat, Kogel Bay, following reports of a drowning in progress.
It appears that a 27 year old man from Kuils River was in difficulty in rip currents when a 21 year old man, also from Kuils River launched into the surf to try to rescue him but got into difficulty himself.
Shark Spotters raised the alarm and bystanders ran to the Koegel Bay Beach picnic area to alert lifeguards who also responded to the scene.
NSRI Gordons Bay launched sea rescue craft and dispatched rescue swimmers to the scene. The EMS/AMS Skymed rescue helicopter, WC Government Health EMS, Law Enforcement Marine Unit, Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services, ER24 ambulance services, Gordons Bay Security ambulance services and Cape Town Traffic Services responded.
The 27 year old man was able to find a sand bar and he managed to get out of the water safely and was not injured. Lifeguards rescued the 21 year old man from the water and commenced CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) efforts on the man which were continued by paramedics on their arrival on the scene. Sadly despite extensive CPR efforts he was declared deceased on the scene and his body was taken into the care of the Forensic Pathology Services.
Police have opened an inquest docket.