At 16h45, Friday, 25th March, NSRI Witsand duty crew were activated following reports of a boat appearing to have suffered motor mechanical failure at the Bar of the Breede River Mouth, Witsand.
A concerned eye-witness feared for the safety of the man on a boat who had put to anchor in the breakers while appearing to be trying to fix his outboard motor.
NSRI Witsand launched the sea rescue craft Falcon Rescuer and on arrival on the scene assisted the man with fuel for his motor and towed him to a safer part of the area, outside of the breaker line, where he was able to restart his motor and he continued on his way requiring no further assistance.
EERSTE RIVER, EASTERN CAPE:
At 15h30, Friday, 25th March, NSRI Plettenberg Bay duty crew initiated a helicopter rescue operation for a paddler reportedly being swept out to sea at Eerste River, between Oyster Bay and Pletttenberg Bay.
Eye-witnesses confirmed that the man appeared to be in difficulty in a strong off-shore wind and he was being swept further out to sea, occasionally capsizing on his Sea-Kayak.
A Sea Rescue boat rescue operation in the remote area of the coast was not an immediate option and the EMS/AMS Skymed helicopter was activated. They picked up an NSRI rescue swimmer in Plettenberg Bay and responded.
While responding to the scene NSRI Plettenberg Bay controllers were able to activate local Eerste River fisherman Simone Bekker who volunteered to launch his private boat and Mr Bekker reached the casualty paddler, 44 year old Dewald Viviers. Mr Bekker rescued the casualty paddler and brought him safely to shore.
A doctor, Jacques de la Harpe, happened to be on the scene when the casualty paddler was brought ashore and he medically checked the casualty who was found to be mildly hypothermic and suffering some sea sickness but following brief medical treatment he required no further assistance.
It was discovered that the casualty paddler, on holiday in Eerste River, had lost his paddle while paddling resulting in strong off-shore winds to sweep him out to sea.
The skymed rescue helicopter, arrived on scene while Mr Viviers was being brought to shore, but was not required to land and stood down to return to base.
Mr Bekker, the local fisherman who rescued the paddler, is commended for his swift actions.
At 17h30, Friday, 25th March, NSRI Hermanus duty crew launched the sea rescue craft Hunters Gold Rescuer to investigate eye-witness reports of an unidentified floating object seen off Hermanus harbour.
The unidentified object, appearing to be some type of marine cabling was located and recovered and will be kept at the Hermanus sea rescue base pending investigations into identifying the objects and locating the owners.
PONTA MALONGANE, MOZAMBIQUE:
NSRI were alerted at 19h54, Friday, 25th March, following eye-witness reports from South Africans on holiday in Ponta Malongane, Mozambique reporting red distress flares sighted off Ponta Malongane on the Mozambique coastline.
MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre) were alerted and efforts were initiated to alert Maritime Rescue Authorities in Mozambique while NSRI Durban’s Paul Bevis, who has local knowledge of rescue on the Mozambique coastline, informed that in that area locals are normally responsible to initiate rescue operations. NSRI alerted local lodges and local emergency services in the area.
It was then confirmed by locals that 4 dive charter boats had launched earlier to conduct a dive charter and reportedly they use red distress flares to illuminate the dive area and that it was strongly believed by locals that this was the origin of the red distress flares and that no boats or persons were in distress. This was later confirmed to be the case.
At 08h10, Saturday, 26th March, NSRI East London were activated following reports of a drowning in progress at Eastern Beach, East London.
NSRI East London launched the Sea Rescue craft Spirit of Lotto and the SA Police Services, Bufallo City Municipal Fire and Rescue Services and a Police K-9 Search and Rescue Squad responded.
On arrival on the scene a search commenced for a man, believed to be aged 44, last seen struggling in the surf line.
Despite an extensive search no sign of the man has been found and a Police dive unit will continue with an ongoing search operation. The man has not been identified and Police have taken possession of his vehicle and an investigation has been opened.
It is suspected that the man may have been caught in strong rip-currents.
At 09h35 NSRI Kommetjie duty crew were activated by the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) following a request for assistance from 3 local crew on a 17 foot boat reporting battery failure and unable to start their outboard motors in an onshore wind.
The men dropped their anchor to prevent them from drifting onto the shoreline and NSRI Kommetjie launched the Sea Rescue craft Spirit of the Vines and on arrival on the scene an NSRI rescue swimmer was put aboard the casualty boat, their crayfish nets were recovered and the anchor was weighed and a tow-line was rigged and the casualty boat and her crew were towed safely to the Kommetjie boat slipway where once safely ashore they recovered their boat and no further assistance was required.