Michael Saunders, NSRI Hartbeespoort Dam station commander, said:
At 06h44, Sunday, 24th September, NSRI Hartbeespoort Dam were informed by a member of the public that a ski-boat had been trapped in the Hyacinth approximately 300 meters offshore from the K’Shane Estate. They had reportedly been there since 18h00 on Saturday Night.
Contact was made with the casualty craft and it was established that there were two young men in their early 20’s onboard. They had launched at 11h00 on Saturday and whilst returning to Schoemansville at 17h30 they had become trapped in the Hyacinth.
With plenty of provisions on board, and warm clothing, they decided to wait out the night in the hope that they would break free from the Hyacinth in the morning.
This morning, Sunday, 24th September, at 06h44, unable to free themselves from the Hyacinth, they raised the alarm and requested assistance reporting that they were not making any headway and that their boat engine was constantly overheating.
Our NSRI Hartbeespoort Dam duty crew were activated and our NSRI Hartbeespoort Dam rescue craft Rotary Endeavor, with myself, coxswain Michael Saunders and crew Jaco van Heerden, Andre van Zyl and Christo van den Berg, was launched but after 2 hours of efforts to negotiate through the Hyacinth we were still only 500m away from the casualty craft and making very little headway.
The ex-NSRI sea rescue craft Afrox Rescuer, now owned by the Transvaal Yacht Club and named Afrox Rescuer TYC, was borrowed and our coxswain Matthew Portious and crew Heidi Jurgen, Alex de Wit and Heinrich Cloete launched on Afrox Rescuer TYC to stand-by on the scene.
NSRI shore crew, Wouter Pretorius, Linda Pretorius, were dispatched to an elevated position and they were able to identify open patches in the hyacinth that could not be seen from water level and using cell phone communication they were able to guide the casualty craft to a nearby slipway where arrangements were made to get their vehicle and trailer around to them by road so that they could recover the boat.
Our rescue craft Rotary Endeavor stood by until it was confirmed that the casualties were safely ashore.
At 11h50 the crew were stood down and returned to base as no further assistance was required and the two young men were safe.
Andre Fraser, NSRI Mossel Bay station commander, said:
At 09h21, Sunday, 24th September, NSRI Mossel Bay duty crew were activated by the Transnet National Ports Authority following reports of a 37 year old Port Nolloth man missing off the supply vessel Captain John K lying at anchorage in the Bay off-shore of Mossel Bay.
Efforts to locate the man onboard had failed and it was suspected that he may have gone overboard during the night.
Our NSRI Mossel Bay sea rescue craft Vodacom Rescuer IV with coxswain Arno Cloete and crew Danie Verwey, Michael Thompson, Alf Meintjies and Tristan Thompson and our NSRI Mossel Bay sea rescue craft Rescue 15 Bravo with coxswain Justin McCarthy and crew Wiaan Cloete were launched and the Transnet National Ports Authority tug boat Arctic Turn, accompanied by NSRI crew Corne Wessels and Konrad Beukes was launched.
An extensive search revealed no sign of the missing man and the EMS/AMS Skymed rescue helicopter joined the search but after no sign of the man was found a Police Dive Unit have been notified and they will continue in an ongoing search operation.
Police have opened an investigation.
Darren Zimmerman, NSRI Simon’s Town station commander, said:
NSRI Simon’s Town duty crew were activated at 12h16, Sunday, 24th September, following reports from Pisces Dive Charters of CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) efforts being conducted on a male diver who reportedly surfaced from a scuba dive pulseless and breathless at Smitswinkel Bay, Cape Point.
CPR efforts were underway on the dive boat and they reported to be heading towards Millers Point.
2 sea rescue craft were launched from NSRI Simon’s Town, Spirit of Safmarine III and Spirit of Surfski II, and paramedics from CMR (Cape Medical Response) responded by road.
We rendezvoused with the dive boat half a nautical mile off-shore of Millers Point and NSRI medical crew were put aboard the dive boat and CPR efforts continued and once brought ashore at the Millers Point slip-way paramedics took over with continuing CPR efforts but despite the extensive efforts and after all CPR efforts were exhausted the man was sadly declared deceased.
The body of the deceased man has been taken into the care of the Forensic Pathology Services and the SA Police Services.
Police have opened an inquest docket.
The deceased man is a Canadian citizen and the Canadian authorities are assisting.
Clifford Ireland, NSRI Durban station commander, said:
At 15h00, Sunday, 24th September, NSRI Durban duty crew were activated following reports from MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre) of an alert from the NSRI RSA SafeTrx (a free phone app for paddlers, sail boarders and boaters) of a paddler overdue from paddling on a surf-ski and the latest position provided was off-shore of the North Breakwater – Port of Durban.
Efforts to reach the paddler, a 57 year old male from Westville, Durban, by cellphone and efforts to reach the paddlers emergency contact person, as given on the NSRI RSA SafeTrx information, was unsuccessful.
While preparing to launch our sea rescue craft Megan II an updated position on the NSRI RSA SafeTrx showed the paddler to be a nautical mile off-shore of the Breakwater and further South.
The sea rescue craft Megan II was launched, with myself, coxswain Clifford Ireland and crew Ashley St Clair Laing, Jonathan Kellerman and Julian Singh and our sea rescue vehicle, with crew Timothy Edwards, Salim Dabahdy and Amy Coetzee, responded to The Bluff to investigate.
Our base crew of Roy Weinand, Pamela St Clair Laing and Matthew Knox assisted with communications and continuing to gather additional information.
We were then able to reach the paddler on his cellphone and he confirmed that he was safe but he had loaded the incorrect “end time” in his NSRI RSA SafeTrx app and he apologised, corrected the information in the app log and he required no assistance and we returned to base.
TO REPORT A SEA RESCUE EMERGENCY DIAL 112 FROM A CELLPHONE