At 13h03, Friday, 14th April, NSRI Mykonos duty crew were activated by the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) following reports of a jet-skier overdue and suspected to be missing off Dwarskersbos near to Port Owen.
The Sea Rescue craft Gemini Rescuer II was towed to Port Owen and launched. Our NSRI shore crew and the SA Police Services conducted shore patrols while an extensive sea search was conducted and later joined by our sea rescue craft Jacqueline and by the NSRI ASR and AMS/EMS Skymed rescue helicopter.
During the search the jet-skier, a 41 year old Brankenfell man, was found safe ashore after he had reportedly been swept deep out to sea by strong winds after suffering motor mechanical failure.
He had managed to repair his motor while adrift and began motoring towards shore when his motor failed again. He made more repairs but it continued to fail throughout the afternoon. He was able to get back to shore himself where he was found by rescue parties patrolling the shoreline. His concerned wife was informed.
According to the jet-skier, he had not taken any safety equipment or communications devices with him when he launched as he had only intended to motor around briefly close in-shore to test his motor that was recently repaired and the situation caught him unexpectedly.
He was treated for mild hypothermia and he required no further assistance.
NSRI urge anyone launching any kind of craft onto water for any reason to always wear a properly fitting and fastened life-jacket, carry safety equipment (easily accessible) – red distress flares, a referee whistle on a neck string, a cell-phone in a water tight sleeve with batteries fully charged and emergency numbers programmed into the phone, a marine VHF radio, if possible, in a water tight sleeve with batteries fully charged, a water-proof torch, bright colour clothing and the correct clothing gear for expected conditions, reflective tape on your craft, a contact number for yourself and for a family member stencilled onto your craft and onto your trailer at the launch site (or contact details left by your vehicle at the launch site).
Check expiry dates and the integrity of your safety equipment before you launch.
Do a safety briefing with everyone on your boat (if you have passengers) before you launch and again in the early stages of your trip.
Let a responsible person know of your departure time, your exact route (and stick to your plan), your return time and check in with that responsible person on your safe return.
If you do not return as planned both you and that responsible person must have already planned what action should be taken by that responsible person to alert the NSRI and there should be no delay.
Practice using your safety equipment – you do not want to figure out how to use your safety equipment for the first time in a real emergency (when panick, hypothermia, exhaustion and rough sea conditions could hamper your efforts).
Every person launching any kind of craft onto the sea should download and use the free NSRI phone app RSA SafeTrx onto their cell-phone (found for download on our NSRI web page www.nsri.org.za).
RSA SafeTrx allows the person to enter details of their route, plans and intentions, onto the phone application and if overdue the phone sends an alert to Maritime Rescue Authorities OR if in difficulty the user can press a button to alert Maritime Rescue Authorities that they have an emergency.
Information sent by the phone gives Maritime Rescue Authorities your exact position which enables NSRI to find you without any lengthy search operation.
Local and National sea rescue emergency numbers can be found on our web page at www.nsri.org.za
TO REPORT A SEA RESCUE EMERGENCY DIAL 112 FROM A CELLPHONE