Deon Langenhoven, NSRI Hermanus station commander, said:
At 12h30, Sunday, 20th August, NSRI Hermanus duty crew were activated following numerous calls from eye-witnesses reporting a whale appearing to be entangled in flotation buoys and rope between Palmiet and Kleinmond.
The sea rescue craft South Star, crewed by our NSRI Hermanus crew myself Deon Langenhoven and James Janse van Rensburg, Bennett’s Coetzee and Charl Henn, and the sea rescue craft Jaytee III, crewed by our NSRI Hermanus crew Jean le Roux, Alwyn Geldenhuys and Andre Barnard, were launched carrying the SA Whale Disentanglement Network (SAWDN) cutting gear.
On arrival on the scene, 50 meters off-shore of Kleinmond, we found an approximately 12 meter Southern Right Whale entangled with rope and a flotation buoy around the tail.
The sea rescue craft Jaytee III was attached to the whale and then using the cutting equipment all rope and the flotation buoy were cut from the whale and recovered in calm sea conditions and the whale has swum away appearing to be healthy and the operation has without doubt been successful.
The operation was completed at 14h00.
Earlier in the day, at 09h00, Sunday, 20th August, during a routine exercise, we had our sea rescue craft South Star on a test run, following routine maintenance work, and accompanied by our sea rescue craft Jaytee III we were lying off-shore of Gansbaai with our motors switched off and discussing training scenarios when a large Southern Right whale approached our two sea rescue craft twice, coming right up to the boat and gliding by underneath the boat and rubbing itself against the underside of the RIB (rigid inflatable boat) Jaytee III.
TO REPORT A SEA RESCUE EMERGENCY DIAL 112 FROM A CELLPHONE