At 16h28, Saturday, 04th March, NSRI Bakoven, NSRI Table Bay and the NSRI ASR (Air Sea Rescue) duty crews were activated by the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) following eye-witness reports of 4 people trapped on rocks, trapped by the rising high tide, below the promenade wall at the Sea Point Promenade at Rocklands Beach in front of the Winchester Mansions Hotel.
NSRI Bakoven launched the sea rescue craft Rotarian Schipper and NSRI Table Bay dispatched a shore crew. WC Government Health EMS rescue squad, Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services and the Fire Rescue Dive Unit, the SA Police Services, ER24 ambulance services, Netcare 911 ambulance services, Law Enforcement and Ezra medical response were activated.
The AMS/EMS Skymed rescue helicopter was diverted from a routine inter-hospital patient transfer to respond.
The private rigid inflatable boat Gemini one, carrying off-duty NSRI crew, who were at sea at the time and in the vicinity, diverted to investigate and finding 4 people, 2 children and 2 adults, on the rocks trapped by a rising tide in 3 to 4 meter breaking swells – the skipper of Gemini one, Howard Godfrey (NSRI Honorary Life Governor), unable to get his craft in close to where the casualties were because of the breaking swells, informed NSRI that it appeared that a rescue operation from the sea side may not be possible.
Fearing that the 4 casualties, faced with the rising tide that threatened to engulf the rocks that they were standing on and fearing that they may try to swim to safety, Howard used a loud hailer to continuously call-out to warn the 4 people not to leave the safety of the rock (that they were standing on) and informing them that help was on the way and that they should not panic.
On arrival on the scene rescue resources found that there was about 10 minutes remaining before the rising high tide would engulf the rocks that the 4 casualties were standing on and that a rescue by boat from the sea side was indeed not possible.
Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services, using ladders and ropes, swiftly deployed their rescue divers over the wall of the promenade and they were able to bring all 4 people to safety up the promenade wall.
All 4 persons, 3 females aged 36, 26, and 6, and a male, aged 14, locals, were taken into the care of paramedics on the scene and treated for shock before being released not injured.
They confirmed that they had been caught by surprised by the rise in the tide.
The crew aboard Gemini one and the Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services team are commended for their actions.
TO REPORT A SEA RESCUE EMERGENCY DIAL 112 FROM A CELLPHONE