Incidents: Saturday, 30th December:
NSRI continue to appeal to paddlers and sail boarders to stencil their name, contact number and the name and contact number of a responsible family member or friend on their craft. If you abandon your craft at sea or if your craft goes missing off the shoreline please alert the NSRI.
This appeal comes in the wake of a double surf-ski that was found by SANPark rangers washed up 2 km East of Kleinkrantz near Wilderness. NSRI Wilderness were alerted at 07h30 on Saturday, 30th December. Fearing paddlers missing at sea, NSRI Wilderness prepped sea rescue craft to be launched and the NSRI ASR (Airborne Sea Rescue) were placed on alert while NSRI investigated paddling groups and paddling clubs to see if anyone could identify the surf-ski.
All we had to go on was a description of the surf-ski and a race number from a recent Cape Point Surf-Ski Challenge said Mike Vonk, NSRI Wilderness duty controller. There were no contact numbers or names on the surf-ski.
Thanks to the quick actions of surf-ski club members around the Western Cape we quickly found out the owners name and a contact number (using the race number on the surf-ski). There was no answer from the cellphone of the owner and it was confirmed that he and friends were in the Southern Cape on vacation but this only increased fears that the paddlers were in trouble at sea. A full-scale Search and Rescue operation was initiated.
Fortunately, thanks to surf-ski members who know the paddler and his friends, it was then learned that the 2 paddlers were safe ashore. They had lost the surf-ski the day before and they had swum a kilometer to reach the shoreline after abandoning their craft. They had alerted beach lifeguards to keep a look out for their craft but the information had not reached NSRI.
We cannot stress enough how important it is to stencil your name and contact number on your craft. If you abandon your craft at sea or if your craft goes missing we appeal to the public to alert the NSRI.
VAN RIEBEEK STRAND:
At 08h12, Saturday, 30th December, NSRI Melkbosstrand medical crew were dispatched to a beach at Van Riebeek Strand where a 49 year old local woman had fallen from her horse during an out ride and she had suffered a fractured right arm.
Local medics attended to her on the beach before NSRI medics arrived and took over medical care and an Orthopaedic Surgeon, jogging past at the time, stopped to assist.
An ambulance was summoned and NSRI transported the woman off the beach in the 4×4 NSRI rescue vehicle to the parking area where paramedics took over care of the lady and she has been transported to hospital by ambulance in a stable condition. The horse was not injured.
By coincidence NSRI Melkbosstrand attended to a similar horse related accident at the same place, at the same time, one year ago to the day.
KLEINMOND AND GORDONS BAY:
At 10h42, Saturday, 30th December, NSRI Hermanus and NSRI Gordons Bay were activated following reports of a boat capsized at Kleinmond with 3 men onboard. An NSRI Gordons Bay rescue vehicle responded and all 3 men were found safely ashore and not injured and their craft was recovered and no further assistance was required. The craft they were on, a flat bottomed ski-boat, is built and intended for inland dams and lakes and not suitable to sea conditions, said NSRI Gordons Bay station commander Alan Meiklejohn, and they were advised not to launch their boat onto coastal water.
Then at 18h37, NSRI Gordons Bay duty crew were activating following a report from an alert eye-witness in a high rise building on the Gordons Bay beach front who noticed 2 women being swept out to sea off Gordons Bay on an “Explorer” blow up plastic craft, intended for home swimming pools.
A paddler on a sea-kayak, who asked not to be named, had also noticed the 2 ladies (a 24 year old and her 55 year old mother) from Gordons Bay and from Strand, being swept out to sea. He paddled after them and on reaching them he was able to tow them safely to shore where NSRI rescue swimmers waded into the surf to help them out the last few meters. They were not injured and they required no further assistance.
The eye-witness Jacques de Villiers, from Gordons Bay, and the paddler are commended for their efforts.
At 10h06, Saturday, 30th December, NSRI Simonstown duty crew were placed on alert after CMR (Cape Medical Response) received a request for medical assistance at Buffels Bay, Cape Point, following a non-fatal drowning accident where an adult man, from Athlone, was reported to be out of the water and safe but in need of medical care after being swept out to sea by rip currents before his wife and friends were able to rescue him from the water.
CMR paramedics responded to the scene where they treated the man for non-fatal drowning symptoms and a CMR ambulance transported the man to hospital in a stable condition for further treatment and for observation for secondary drowning symptoms.
At 13h34, Saturday, 30th December, a woman, aged in her 20’s, believed to be from Mowbray, was assisted by City of Cape Town Municipal lifeguards who secured the woman 50 meters out to sea before the NSRI Bakoven sea rescue craft Rotarian Schipper arrived on the scene/ The woman was taken onboard the sea rescue craft and brought to the NSRI Bakoven sea rescue station.
It appeared that she swam too far out to sea before becoming hypothermic when lifeguards and then the sea rescue craft intervened.
She was treated for hypothermia by NSRI medics at the sea rescue station in Bakoven and Community Medics, Life Healthcare response paramedics, ER24 ambulance services, WC Government Health EMS and the SA Police Services assisted and she has been transported to hospital by an ER24 ambulance in a stable condition.
PUBLIC SAFETY ALERT:
NSRI are appealing to the public – bathers, anglers, boaters, paddlers, coastal hikers and walkers, and sail boarders to exercise extreme caution around the coastline in light of the full moon Spring Tide which is now in full effect, peaks on Tuesday, 2nd January, and will continue to have an effect on coastline waters until the end of this coming week.
NSRI are urging responsible and safe behaviour in and around all water over the New Years Celebrations.
NSRI are appealing to the public not to set off Red Distress Flares and Sky Lanterns during the New Years celebrations.
THANKS TO THE MEDIA:
NSRI wish to take this opportunity to thank the media for publishing and broadcasting safety alerts posted by NSRI. Your efforts are sincerely appreciated and we are proud to recognise that you play the most integral part in a National Drowning Prevention Campaign that is rapidly gaining momentum around South Africa.