Alan Stilwell, NSRI Port Edward duty controller, said: At 06h00, Sunday, 01 January, NSRI Port Edward duty crew were activated, together with Law Enforcement, our local Traffic Inspectorate, SA Police Services, Sector Police, Emergency Medical Services, Hibiscus Municipal Authorities, Tower 13 Lifeguards and Ratepayers Representatives to commence duty shift in accordance with the Municipal Safety, Security and Emergency Services, Strategic Plan. They had deliberated on and accepted the plan in October last year with the intention to control, assist and guide the large crowds of people expected to converge on the the village and its beach as part of a safety and security initiative.
The Port Edward NSRI was an integral component of the Strategic Plan as far as crowd assistance and water safety was concerned.
The primary thrust of the combined operation was to combat the bringing and use of alcohol onto the beach and into the village by the relevant Law Enforcement Agencies, and crowd control and the provision of water safety.
The day started off quietly and orderly, while the volumes steadily increased during the day, when at approximately 15h00 the peak was reached and some 10 000 people had entered the village and migrated to the beach and surrounding area.
The operation was closed at around 21h00 after a generally successful day with no major incidents and no serious injuries reported, save only for a swarm of blue bottles that had entered the Bay at approximately 15h00 causing some discomfort to the many bathers and which resulted in approximately 70 persons being treated for stings in the First Aid Room but all released requiring no further assistance. A young girl had also to be treated for lacerated wounds to her foot after falling on the rocks, and one missing child was reunited with family after being in our care for about 30 minutes while family were being located.
NSRI are aware that large quantities of alcohol that were confiscated by the Law Enforcement Agencies as well as one fire arm and four Okapi type knives and various other items deemed by Police to be dangerous items and no incidents were reported.
There were no incidents of persons having to be assisted after getting into dificulty in the surf or on the beaches and it can be concluded that the situation was well controlled and the beach was safe. It was a very successful operation with the integration of all the law enforcement agencies, Emergency Medical Services, Tower 13 lifeguards, Municipal agencies and NSRI Port Edward working together towards the common goal of providing a safe beach for all.
ST HELENA BAY:
Casper Frylink, NSRI Mykonos station commander, said: At 00h23, Tuesday, 03 January, NSRI Mykonos duty responded to St Helena Bay in a sea rescue vehicle towing the sea rescue craft Gemini Rescuer II following a request for assistance from four fishermen aboard a Crayfish Bakkie (small open fishing boat) reporting motor mechanical failure and being swept out to sea by off-shore winds.
On arrival on the scene we launched our sea rescue craft Gemini Rescuer II and located the fishermen 1 nautical mile off-shore and towed them safely to St Helena Bay harbour without incident.
Picture above: Fishermen being brought to St Helena Bay harbour.
Juan Pretorius, NSRI Port Alfred station commander, said: At 13h45, Monday, 02 January, NSRI Port Alfred duty crew and the SA Police Services responded to Kasoega, between Port Alfred and Kenton-On-Sea, following reports of a drowning in progress.
On arrival on the scene we found a 55 year old lady, from Stanford, had been rescued from the water by her husband, who had been spearfishing nearby, and by a paddler who had seen her in trouble and he had gone over to help. No further assistance was required.
On Tuesday, 03 January, at 10h29, we were alerted to respond to the Bushmans River Mouth for a drowning in progress but while we were responding to the scene we were informed that a person had been rescued from the water and no further assistance was required.
Bruce Davidson, NSRI Bakoven station commander, said: At 11h38, Monday, 02 January, NSRI Bakoven duty crew were activated following a report of paddlers in difficulty off-shore of Mouille Point.
NSRI rescuers were sent to the scene where it was confirmed that the yacht Far Away had rescued a female paddler while her paddling partner, believed to be her brother, had been assisted by a paddler who launched from the Mouille Point slip way.
A Police Sea Borderline boat was also in attendance and they had collected one paddle board while a surfer attempted to get one paddle board to shore which is believed to have broken up.
Staff from Kaskazi Kayaks also launched to assist to bring the paddle board to shore and once all boards and all persons were safely ashore, including the female who was taken to the Royal Cape Yacht Club aboard the yacht Far Away, they required no further assistance.
Marc Rodgers, NSRI Plettenberg Bay station commander, said: At 09h49, NSRI Plettenberg Bay duty crew were alerted following reports of 2 divers missing at Whale Rock. Shortly after the activation it was confirmed that both divers were found safe and no further assistance was required.
TO REPORT A SEA RESCUE EMERGENCY DIAL 112 FROM A CELLPHONE