SIMONS TOWN: At 08h17, Friday, 08th April, NSRI Simon’s Town duty crew were activated by the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) following confirmation of paddlers being rescued off-shore between Simon’s Town and Millers Point.
NSRI Simon’s Town station commander Darren Zimmerman, said that he had launched his private rigid inflatable rubber-duck, Aqualudis, to go fishing when he happened upon some paddlers, from a paddle club in Simon’s Town, waving frantically.
On investigation Darren found 3 paddlers, men and women, on a Skull Boat (paddle craft) which was semi-submerged. While attempting to rescue the 3 paddlers Darren was informed by them that two paddlers from the same paddle craft were in the water and in dire need of rescue about half a mile away.
The alarm was raised with Darren requesting by VHF radio for Telkom Maritime Radio Services to activate his NSRI Simon’s Town duty crew and the sea rescue craft Spirit of Surfski II was launched. Darren found that these 3 paddlers were relatively safe, clinging onto their semi-submerged craft for floatation, so Darren raced over to find the remaining two paddlers, both men, in the water being dragged (towed) towards shore by a second smaller paddle craft.
Darren rescued these two paddlers from the water, he then ensured that the two paddlers on the smaller paddle craft were safe and he raced back to rescue the original 3 paddlers, getting all 5 of them safely onto his boat. They were all hypothermic and Darren transported them to the sea rescue base in Simon’s Town where they were treated for hypothermia by CMR (Cape Medical Response) paramedics and they required no further assistance.
The Simon’s Town sea rescue crew towed the semi-submerged skull boat to Simon’s Town without incident. It appears that the 7 paddlers, 2 on a 2 man paddle craft and 5 on a Skull Boat paddle craft, had launched for a paddle when the Skull Boat took on water. 3 paddlers stayed with the semi submerged craft while the 2 man paddle craft attempted to tow 2 of the crew (from the 5 man paddle craft) to shore by towing them behind the craft. It is a coincidence that Darren came across them and he and his fishing crew on his private boat rescued the 5 paddlers.
PORT EDWARD: At 09h20, Friday, 08th, April, NSRI Port Edward duty crew were activated following reports of a boat in difficulty 1 nautical mile off-shore of Silver Beach. The fishing boat Lady Atlantis had hit a rock while launching to go to sea causing loss of motor power to one motor when the motors propellor broke off after striking the yacht. Local fisherman Peter Brereton rescued all 4 men off the boat in relays using his jet-ski and bringing all 4 of the fishermen ashore safely. In rough sea conditions it was not recommended to try to bring the craft ashore in the breaking surf and the boat was put to anchor off-shore behind the breakers and later in the day, when surf conditions improved, the NSRI Port Edward sea rescue craft Wild Coast Sun rescuer was launched and the skipper of the casualty boat and one of his crewman were taken to their boat and NSRI towed their boat ashore without incident and they required no further assistance. Local fisherman Peter Brereton is commended for his efforts.