The New Moon Spring Tide which peaked on the 26th of April will result in stronger than normal rip currents – brought on by the twice monthly Spring Tide’s higher than normal high tides and lower than normal low tides – persisting until at least Tuesday, 02 May. Bathers, paddlers and anglers are urged to exercise caution around the coast over the long weekend.
Alan Stilwell, NSRI Port Edward duty controller, said: At 07h05, Friday, 28th April, NSRI Port Edward duty crew responded to Main Beach, Port Edward, following eye-witness reports of a boat capsized in the surf-line with 5 local adult men onboard. It appears they were launching to go fishing when their boat was capsized by waves in the surf-line. On arrival on the scene all 5 men were exiting the water and only the skipper and one crewman had suffered slight injuries but they required no medical attention. Their boat, AquaVida, was recovered from the water and no further assistance was required.
Ross Badenhorst, NSRI Plettenberg Bay duty controller, said: At 07h44, Friday, 28th April, NSRI Plettenberg Bay duty crew were activated following reports of 4 paddlers in difficulty at the Keurbooms River Mouth.
According to reports 2 double surf-ski’s, with 2 person’s on each surf-ski, had capsized in the river mouth. It was then reported that 2 paddlers, a male and a female, had made it to shore and 2 paddlers (both men), were missing.
NSRI Plettenberg Bay rescue swimmers and shore crew responded directly to the scene and while preparing to launch sea rescue craft it was confirmed by eye-witnesses that all 4 paddlers – a father and his son on one surf-ski and his daughter and a male friend on the second surf-ski, were accounted for and safe. One surf-ski remained missing and one person was still swimming towards the shore but appearing to not be in any difficulty.
NSRI shore crew spotted the missing surf-ski in the surf-line.
The sea rescue craft Free Runner was launched and the surf-ski was recovered from the surf. The paddler, a 50 year old local man, was given the surf-ski in the river mouth and he paddled on the surf-ski to shore safely. We then assisted him to get the other side of the river mouth where his fellow paddlers were. Once all were safely ashore no further assistance was required and there were no injuries.
The paddle of the second surf-ski remains missing and a brief search by NSRI found no sign of the missing paddle.
Pictures below by NSRI Plettenberg Bay
A number of shark sightings in the Plettenberg Bay area today has highlighted that at this time of the year it is normal for sharks to come close in-shore.
NSRI are urging public caution along the coastline, particularly along the Southern Cape coastline (The Garden Route), between Natures Valley and Mossel Bay, and in particular around the Plettenberg Bay in shore area, due to a high number of white shark sightings.
The increase in shark inshore presence at this time of the year is part of the normal aggregation of these animals.
Sharks are aggregating in this area at this time, as they have done in previous years, to take advantage of naturally occurring prey like seals and fish close in shore.
In particular a large amount of shark sightings have been recorded close in shore along the Plettenberg Bay coastline.
Most of these shark sightings are in the vicinity of Robberg and this natural phenomenon. With the high number of sightings reported daily it offers a rare opportunity for sightseers to view shark activity close in shore.
NSRI and the Emergency Services are well prepared to deal with any incidents and NSRI carry emergency medical shark kits on rescue boats and on NSRI rescue vehicles and NSRI medics carry emergency medical shark kits in private vehicles in an effort to ensure the quickest response to any incident.
For safety the public are advised:
- Do not swim, surf or surf-ski when birds, dolphins or seals are feeding nearby
- Do not swim, surf or surf-ski where, fishing or spear fishing is taking place
- Do not swim in deep water beyond the breakers
- Do not swim if you are bleeding
- Do not swim near river mouths
- Do not swim, surf or surf-ski at night
- Do not swim, surf or surf-ski if there has been a whale stranding nearby
- Obey beach officials and lifeguards if told to leave the water
- If a shark has recently been sighted in an area, consider using another beach for the day
- First-time visitors to beach areas should ask the local law enforcement official, lifeguards or locals about the area
- For those people kayaking or surf-skiing far out to the sea: please consider paddling in groups and staying close together (in a diamond formation)
- Consider using a personal shark shield when you go surfing or kayaking
- Pay attention to any shark signage on beaches
- Do not swim, surf or surfski alone
In a Sea Rescue Emergency along the Plettenberg Bay coastline call the NSRI Plettenberg Bay emergency number 0829905975.
The National Emergency number is 112, dialled from a cell phone.
TO REPORT A SEA RESCUE EMERGENCY DIAL 112 FROM A CELLPHONE