Ian Klopper, NSRI Kommetjie station commander, said:
At 17h44, Monday, 02 October, NSRI Kommetjie were called directly by Byron Ashington, skipper of the 8 meter ski-boat Monish, requesting urgent assistance, reporting to be off-shore of Groen Dam, Cape Point, with the owner of the ski-boat, a crew member and two 6 year old children onboard.
Their boat had suffered fuel starvation from unknown causes while motoring from Gordons Bay to Hout Bay and they were being swept towards shore in a stiff on-shore wind.
Our NSRI Kommetjie duty crew and NSRI Hout Bay duty crew were activated.
The NSRI Kommetjie’s sea rescue vehicle responded to Cape Point, the NSRI Kommetjie sea rescue craft Spirit of the Vines was launched and NSRI Hout Bay launched the sea rescue craft Nadine Gordimer and Albie Matthews.
With heavy weather building and nightfall approaching fast the aim was to reach them as quickly as possible.
On our NSRI Kommetjie sea rescue craft arriving in the area we requested the casualty boat to fire a red distress flare to help us to locate them in rough, choppy, 3 meter swells and a 30 knot onshore North Westerly wind.
The red distress flare they fired assisted us in locating the casualty boat and we found them 250 meters off-shore and being swept towards the shoreline.
We transferred our NSRI rescue swimmer Lara Caine onto the casualty boat and a tow-line was rigged and we towed them directly out to sea reaching about 3.5 nautical miles, a safe distance from shore.
NSRI Hout Bay’s two sea rescue craft arrived on the scene and the tow-line was passed to the larger NSRI Hout Bay deep sea rescue craft Nadine Gordimer.
NSRI Hout Bay sea rescue swimmer Jason de Villers was transferred onto the casualty boat.
50 litres of fuel was transferred to the casualty boat but not enough fuel to cover the distance to Hout Bay in the sea conditions being faced.
We then transferred the two children and the casualty boats owner onto the deep sea rescue craft NSRI Hout Bay’s Nadine Gordimer. In the rough seas the operation was challenging but successful.
The bollard on the casualty boat broke off as the towing effort from NSRI Hout Bay’s sea rescue craft Nadine Gordimer got underway making a tow effort impossible.
The casualty boat were able to get their motors started on the fuel provided by NSRI and they began motoring towards Hout Bay with the NSRI escorting them.
Our NSRI Kommetjie sea rescue craft responded to the Kommetjie slip-way where NSRI Kommetjie shore crew had gathered an additional 102 litres of fuel which we ferried to the casualty boat transferring the fuel off-shore of the Crayfish Factory.
The casualty boat was escorted to Hout Bay under her own power where their boat was recovered and no further assistance was required,
The operation was completed at 23h00.
TO REPORT A SEA RESCUE EMERGENCY DIAL 112 FROM A CELLPHONE