At 12h05, Sunday, 19th November, NSRI Strandfontein duty crew were activated following a request for assistance from neighbouring colleagues, Strandfontein Lifesaving Club lifeguards, reporting one of their lifeguards launching into the surf to assist a 30 year old local man caught in strong rip currents.
A lifeguard was securing the man, preventing him from drowning, 200 meters off-shore of Strandfontein Beach and strong rip currents were preventing the lifeguard from bringing the man back to the beach
NSRI Strandfontein launched the NSRI Waverider “Film Industry Rescuer One” and reached the lifeguard and his casualty, 200 meters off-shore in strong rip currents.
They were both brought safely to the beach on the rescue sled of “Film Industry Fund Rescuer One“.
Once safely on the beach the casualty required no further assistance.
At 07h38, Sunday, 19th November, NSRI Hermanus duty crew were placed on alert following reports of a white illuminating flare sighted in the Bettys Bay vicinity. On investigation it was found that the flare was fired from land by unknown persons for unknown reasons.
Then at 10h14 a large vessel was seen drifting and appearing to be unmanned 400 meters off-shore of Betties Bay and eye-witnesses raised the alarm. NSRI Hermanus, assisted by Telkom Maritime Radio Services, raised the vessel which confirmed to be the research vessel Ellen Khuzwayo and crew onboard confirmed that they were in no danger and simply going about their normal research routine.
Then at 12h02 eye-witnesses reported a surfer appearing to be signalling for help off-shore of Onrus Beach. NSRI rescue swimmers in the vicinity investigated and found a young surfer had been attempting to attract the attention of his dad on the beach and by waving his arms gave eye-witnesses the impression that he was signalling for help and no assistance was required.
NSRI have commended the eye-witnesses in all of these cases for alerting NSRI to their good intentions of raising the alarm after having reasonable cause to suspect people to be in trouble.
NSRI Shelly Beach launched the sea rescue craft Shelly Spirit at 14h00 to assist the local fishing boat Bliksem, with 6 crew onboard, suffering one motor failure at the backline off-shore of Shelly Beach.
The charter boat Avatar stood by on the scene and 2 crew were transferred from Blikem onto Avatar. A 16 year old boy was taken ashore by Shelly Spirit and then Shelly Spirit returned to Bliksem and took a 9 year old boy off and took him to shore.
Avatar came ashore with the 2 adult crew of Bliksem and then Bliksem came safely ashore on one motor with the remaining 2 adults (one being the skipper).
Once all were safely ashore no further assistance was required and Avatar were thanked for assisting in the operation.
Police K9 Search and Rescue and a Police Dive Unit will continue an ongoing search operation for an unidentified man who has gone missing in the surf at Eastern Beach, East London.
NSRI East London launched the sea rescue craft Spirit of Rotary and the Rescue Runner Spirit of Lotto. Buffalo City Municipality (BCM) Fire and Rescue Services, the SA Police Services, a Police K9 Search and Rescue team, a Police Dive Unit responded to Eastern Beach following reports from BCM lifeguards who had launched into the surf to attempt to rescue the man who appeared to be caught in rip currents, but before lifeguards reached the man he had disappeared under water.
BCM lifeguards had warned bathers throughout the weekend not to enter the surf at Eastern Beach. The beach has been closed to bathers since Friday (by Buffalo City Municipality) after the carcass of a Sperm Whale washed ashore on Eastern Beach. Bathing was deemed to be dangerous by authorities, due to the concern of possible shark activity attracted by the whale carcass.
According to reports it appears that some bathers may have ignored warnings and the efforts of lifeguards to keep bathers out of the water.
Despite an extensive sea and shoreline search no sign of the man was found. Police will continue a search and attempt to identify the man.
TO REPORT A SEA RESCUE EMERGENCY DIAL 112 FROM A CELLPHONE