Stuart Buchanan, NSRI Simons Town deputy station commander, said:
At 15h43, Saturday, 03 June, NSRI Simons Town duty crew were activated by the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) following eye-witness reports of a red distress flare deployed off-shore between Millers Point and the Roman Rock Lighthouse.
Further reports from the SA Police Services were received of a boat or paddle craft witnessed to be capsized South of the Roman Rock lighthouse.
NSRI Simons Town launched the sea rescue craft Spirit of Surfski II (one of a series of rescue boats generously funded by the surfski community through the efforts of Billy Harker).
While responding towards the area of the red distress flare sighting, the cellphone number of a paddler at sea reporting two paddlers in distress was received and NSRI called the paddler who confirmed that he and his 2 fellow paddlers were in the company of two casualty paddlers who needed help, South of Roman Rock lighthouse. NSRI requested that they set off a red distress flare to assist sea rescue to locate them.
A red distress flare was deployed and the sea rescue craft Spirit of Surfski II arrived on the scene, 5 nautical miles South of the Roman Rock lighthouse, where 2 paddlers, men aged 62 and 64, from Claremont and Pinelands, were found to be hypothermic after falling out of their surfski’s while paddling.
They were in the company of 3 paddlers who had gone to their aid after seeing the red distress flare. One of the 3 paddlers had also activated his NSRI RSA SafeTrx free phone application to indicate an emergency and he had called MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre) and the distress call was received by MRCC.
The 3 paddlers had rafted their surfski’s to the 2 casualty surfski’s to help the 2 men and they remained with the 2 men until help arrived.
The 2 paddlers were taken onboard our sea rescue craft and their surfski’s were recovered and they were brought to the Millers Point slip way where NSRI were met by CMR (Cape Medical Response) ambulance services. Both men were treated for hypothermia by the CMR paramedics and after treatment on the scene they required no further medical assistance and they went home.
NSRI commend the 3 paddlers who were paddling nearby and who went to the assistance of the 2 casualty paddlers after seeing the red distress flare.