Michael Saunders, NSRI Hartbeespoort Dam station commander, said:
At 01h22, Monday, 24th April, NSRI Hartbeespoort Dam duty crew were activated following a request for assistance for a father and his 2 daughters, aged 17 and 7, from Pretoria, trapped on a ferry raft in amongst dense hyacinth on the Hartbeespoort Dam in the vicinity of Meerhof, near to the train bridge.
It appears that while enjoying an afternoon on a small ferry raft on the dam they had found themselves stuck in amongst the hyacinth from about 17h00 and had tried to free themselves (with the hyacinth shifting it is common that anyone who gets stuck can find themselves able to get free) but after appearing to get more bogged down and trapped in by the dense hyacinth at around 19h00 the alarm was raised and local Fire and Rescue Services and Netcare ambulance services had responded but by after midnight, with no solution at hand to reach the casualties, and with concerns of wind chill factor raising concerns of hypothermia, other options were investigated and at 01h22 NSRI Hartbeespoort Dam were alerted.
On arrival on the scene NSRI Hartbeespoort Dam launched the rescue craft Rotary Endeavour and on arrival on the scene were able to tow the small ferry raft out of the dense hyacinth and into open water on the middle of the dam.
The two girls were transferred onto the NSRI rescue craft and they were brought safely to the NSRI rescue base and reunited with their concerned mother.
Their dad took the ferry raft to the Aquatic Club without incident.
They were not injured and no further assistance was required and the operation was completed at 05h45.
TO REPORT A SEA RESCUE EMERGENCY DIAL 112 FROM A CELLPHONE