Morne Dettmer, NSRI Mykonos deputy station commander, said:
At 08h58, Monday, 23rd January, NSRI Mykonos duty crew recovered a rigid inflatable boat (RIB) at Spreewalle, Langebaan, after the boat was reported to be washed ashore on the beach unmanned.
The boat was brought to our sea rescue station to be collected by the owner who is from Vredenburg.
It appears that a friend of the owner borrowed the boat but ran the boat ashore after the boat sustained mechanical problems and he may have left to go call the owner when bystanders alerted NSRI to investigate the unmanned boat washed ashore.
Alan Stilwell, NSRI Port Edward duty controller, said:
The fantastic cooperation between NSRI Port Edward, the SA Police Services, Tower 13 Lifeguards, The Ray Nkonyeni Municipality, Port Edward Rate Payers Association and the Emergency Services, in a Drowning Prevention pilot project which resulted in no fatal drowning accidents in Port Edward over this past festive season, has again seen success today.
A bystander on the beach at Port Edward noticed two teenagers in difficulty caught in rip currents off-shore of Port Edward Main Beach.
The man turned around on the beach to look across to the lifeguards building, with the bold emergency number signboard pasted on the wall of the lifeguards building, and dial the number – See photo below of the lifeguard building on Port Edward Beach which has the local sea rescue emergency number pasted on the wall in bold letters.
He dialled the phone number displayed on the signboard (NSRI Port Edward Sea Rescue local Emergency Phone Number) setting off the practiced sequence of alerting NSRI and the emergency services to the drowning in progress at 17h56, Monday, 23rd January.
NSRI rescue swimmers raced to the scene and the 2 teenagers, caught in rip currents, about 40 meters off-shore in the surf zone were rescued by the NSRI rescue swimmers and brought safely to shore and after being medically checked they required no further assistance.
Local Port Edward resident Alwyn Carstens, who raised the alarm, said he was playing with his child on the beach when he noticed the 2 teenagers in trouble and his first reaction was to look across to the signboard and dial the number displayed on the signboard.
We commend Alwyn for his quick thinking and quick actions that contributed to the two teenagers lives being saved.
HOUT BAY and KOMMETJIE:
At 21h59, Monday, 23rd January, NSRI Kommetjie, NSRI Hout Bay and Emergency Services were alerted by multiple members of the public reporting red distress flare sightings off-shore between Hout Bay and Kommetjie.
The flares were clearly seen coming from off-shore resulting in a full-scale emergency response.
Despite an extensive search, which went on until 02h00 this morning, including sea rescue craft that launched to conduct a thorough sea search and spotters posted on Chapmans Peak, no sign of anyone in any difficulty could be found and we suspect the flares to be a false alarm set off for unknown reasons.
NSRI and emergency services have responded to 15 red distress flare activations since the beginning of December that have resulted in no persons found to be in any difficulty.
NSRI CEO Dr Cleeve Robertson, said:
“The volume of red distress flares that NSRI and emergency services are responding to that appear to be false alarms is of concern.
“NSRI and the emergency services launch a full-scale response to every flare sighting because we have to be absolutely certain that no one is in difficulty at sea.
“NSRI are appealing to public to not set off red distress flares unless they are in a sea related emergency requiring a sea rescue emergency response.
“NSRI are appealing to businesses who have facilities to safely dispose of expired red distress flares to contact NSRI at 021-4344011 so that we can advertise a facility for the proper, correct and safe disposal of expired red distress flares.
“NSRI will engage with local communities to address the risks imposed on the local boating communities and local fishermen when red distress flares are fired without a valid emergency reason.
“Our WaterWise instructors will include education about red distress flares in the WaterWise programs at school level and we will engage with community leaders and local boating and local fishing communities in an effort to reduce the number of flare activations that appear to be happening without valid emergency reasons.”
TO REPORT A SEA RESCUE EMERGENCY DIAL 112 FROM A CELLPHONE