At 18h01 on Sunday the 3rd of September, NSRI Gordons Bay duty crew were activated by the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) following a call from four young local males, aged in their late teens and early 20’s, reporting to be adrift at sea 200 meters off the Steenbras River Mouth on a 2.5 meter dinghy.
The four had launched earlier in the day from Gordons Bay on the tiny dinghy with a 30 horse power outboard motor that they had purchased the day before. The pull chord of the motor had snapped when they had wanted to return and they were unable to get the motor started and found themselves adrift at sea off the Steenbras River Mouth in fading light.
We realised that in the fading light, with the young men adrift at sea on a tiny dinghy in strong sea currents wearing only shorts and T-shirts and skiing vests as life-jackets and no other safety gear, that we needed to find them quickly, said Alan Meiklejohn, NSRI Gordons Bay station commander.
But then their phone went dead and we realised that the battery power had most likely been depleted. Fortunately they swapped the sim card into a phone on board that had battery power (but which had no airtime) and with the sim card with the airtime inserted into the phone with the battery power we re-established communications with them, said Alan.
The sea rescue craft Spirit of Surfski was launched with NSRI station commander Alan Meiklejohn and NSRI crew Richard Adendorff and Ryan Holmes and our sea rescue vehicle driven by NSRI crewman Brian Rogers was dispatched to the Steenbras River Mouth to assist with communications and spotting and NSRI crewman Adel Swart handled communications at our sea rescue base.
Following a brief search they were found 1 nautical mile off the Steenbras River Mouth with the dinghy caught in a strong sea current sweeping them out to sea.
The near full moon assisted us to find them, said Alan, because they had no safety gear onboard to indicate their position.
All four were transferred onto the sea rescue craft and NSRI rescue swimmer Richard Adendorff was put onto the dinghy to rig a tow-line. It was towed to our sea rescue base without incident.
The four young men were treated for mild hypothermia at our sea rescue base and released requiring no further assistance but there is no doubt that their lives were saved by the intervention of NSRI Gordons Bay today.
Pictures Attached: By NSRI Gordons Bay. NSRI rescue swimmer Richard Adendorff on the tiny dinghy being towed to Gordons Bay.
Against a sunset backdrop the sea rescue craft Spirit of Surfski towing the dinghy to Gordons Bay.
Darren Zimmerman, NSRI Simon’s Town station commander, said:
At 20h12 on Sunday the 3rd of September, NSRI Simon’s Town duty crew activated following eye-witness reports of a body floating face down in Kalk Bay Harbour.
The NSRI Simon’s Town sea rescue craft Spirit of Surfski II was launched and our NSRI rescue vehicle, CMR (Cape Medical Response) and Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services and a Fire Dive Unit responded.
WC Government Health EMS rescue squad and a Police Dive Unit were placed on alert.
On arrival on the scene 2 NSRI rescue swimmers were deployed into the water and the body of an adult male was recovered from the water.
Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services rescue divers assisted the NSRI rescue swimmers in the recovery of the body.
The unidentified adult male was sadly declared deceased by paramedics and the SA Police Services were activated A Police inquest docket has been opened and the circumstances were not known.
The body has been taken into the care of the Forensic Pathology Services.
NSRI Safety Warning:
NSRI are urging the public to take heed of our Spring Tide Safety Warning.
The coastline is now experiencing the effect of the Full Moon Spring Tide that peaks on Wednesday, 6th of September, and the effects of this Spring Tide will continue into the coming weekend.
Spring Tide happens twice every month, at Full Moon and again at New Moon.
Spring Tide causes a higher than normal high tide, a lower than normal low tide and stronger than normal rip-currents.
There are two high tides and two low tides each day. During a Spring Tide areas along the shoreline that are not normally swamped by waves at high tide are swamped by waves often catching people who are standing along the shoreline off-guard.
During the outgoing tide the rip-currents are strongest but at any time bathers should be aware that rip currents form at different places along the shoreline constantly and rip-currents remain one of the greatest causes of drowning accidents around our coast.
Spring Tides, at this time of the year, are further affected by rough winter sea conditions.
In particular anglers fishing from the shoreline, public members going to the sea side to walk along the shoreline, shoreline hikers, bathers, boaters and paddlers need to be aware that the Spring Tide poses a danger to the sea going public around the coast and extreme caution is advised.
The next Spring Tide happens around New Moon on the 20th October and then again around the school vacation the Full Moon Spring Tide on 5th October.
The effects of a Spring Tide can be noticed from a few days before the full moon and new moon peak and last for a few days following the peak.
NSRI urge boaters and paddlers to load the free NSRI RSA SafeTrx cellphone App onto their cellphones and use the app when launching to go to sea – NSRI RSA SafeTrx can be found on our web page www.nsri.org.za.
TO REPORT A SEA RESCUE EMERGENCY DIAL 112 FROM A CELLPHONE