Jeremiah Jackson, NSRI Shelly Beach station commander, said:
At 14h04, Friday, 23rd December, NSRI Shelly Beach duty crew were activated following a request for assistance from the boat Sea Dog, reporting one of the 3 crew fishermen onboard, a 53 year old male from Vanderbijlpark, Gauteng, fallen onboard, sustaining a back injury. after the boat went over a wave.
Accompanied by a Hibiscus Medi-vac paramedic we arrived on the scene aboard our sea rescue craft Spirit of Dawn, at Protea Banks where they had been fishing, and we treated the man onboard their boat for a back injury and secured into a Kendricks extrication device, for C-spine immobilisation, the man was transferred onto our sea rescue craft and brought to shore and he has been transported to hospital by Hibiscus Medi-vac ambulance in a stable condition for further treatment.
The remaining 2 men brought their boat ashore without incident.
Later the same day, at 17h06, we were alerted to a suspected boat in difficulty off-shore of Uvongo but prior to our responding we were informed that lifeguards had assisted a canoe with 2 persons onboard to shore without incident and our assistance was not required.
Andre Fraser, NSRI Mossel Bay station commander, said:
At 17h35, Friday, 23rd December, NSRI Mossel Bay duty crew were activated following a request for assistance from the boat Captain Hook, with 12 local tourist fishermen onboard reporting damaged steering on their craft, South of Cape St Blaze, about a nautical mile from our sea rescue station.
We launched our sea rescue Vodacom Rescuer II and on arrival on the scene we found they had full motor power but loss of steering and being so close to the harbour we assisted them into the harbour using our boat as their steering, nudging them along, and they were brought safely to moorings in the harbour and no further assistance was required.
Willem Lubbe, NSRI Yzerfontein station commander, said:
At 14h30, Friday, 23rd December, NSRI Yzerfontein duty crew, the SA Police Services, Law Enforcement and Traffic Services searched an area amongst the Dollose along the Yzerfontein harbour wall following reports of an unidentified object floating in the water, in rough seas, in the vicinity of the harbour wall.
While the unidentified object was seen by rescuers floating towards the Dollose, being semi submerged it could not be identified, and despite an extensive search amongst the Dollose, including assistance from the Police Dive Unit, no sign of the object could be found and when the heavy sea swells subside another search will be conducted later to attempt to find, recover and identify the object.
Stephen Slade, NSRI Port Alfred deputy station commander, said:
At 17h00, Friday, 23rd December, NSRI Port Alfred duty crew were activated following eye-witness reports of a drowning in progress at the Bushmans River Mouth, between Alexandria and Port Alfred, 25km from our Port Alfred sea rescue station.
We dispatched our NSRI rescue swimmers in a private vehicle, our sea rescue vehicle towing our sea rescue craft and the EC Government Health EMS, Guardmed ambulance services and the Environmental Beach office responded.
On arrival on the scene all persons were out of the water and a 36 year old male (casualty), from Alexandria, visiting the beach for the day with family, was found to be suffering from exhaustion and from non-fatal drowning symptoms and he was treated by paramedics and transported to hospital for observation for secondary drowning.
A female aged 12, the daughter of the casualty, who had reportedly also been in the water and who is believed to have also been in some difficulty in rip currents, is believed to have been able to get out of the surf unassisted and she was checked by paramedics but released after it was established that she was not injured.
It has emerged that the van Wyk family, visiting on a holiday from their farm near to Lichtenberg in the North West Province, had noticed a commotion along the shoreline, near to rocks, near to the river mouth and they noticed a man in difficulty in the surf.
Martie van Wyk and her 19 year old son Armand van Wyk ran towards the shoreline to see what was going on and Armand launched into the surf and swam out to the casualty and caught in strong currents he assisted the casualty to stay afloat while calming the casualty.
As waves broached over them the casualty tried to hold onto Armand but Armand was able to avoid his grasp and gently nudged the casualty towards the shore while continuing to motivate the casualty to stay afloat by treading water and helping the casualty to negotiate through the waves.
An unidentified man, believed to be aged in his late 20’s, then launched into the surf with a body board and arriving at the casualty he gave his body board to the casualty to use to stay afloat.
Armand told this unidentified man, who had also come out to help, that he was okay and that he was able to swim and together they were able to bring the casualty safely to the shoreline.
Paramedics treated the casualty for exhaustion and for non-fatal drowning symptoms before transporting him to hospital in a stable condition.
Martie, Armand’s mom, who had also waded into the surf to try to help said that while they are very proud of her sons actions she hoped they would never be faced with an ordeal like this again.
NSRI commend the actions of Nicholas Abraham “Armand” van Wyk and the unidentified man with the body board for their actions in saving a life today.