NSRI Port Alfred are investigating reports of 9 persons on Kayaks, on the Fish River, who were apparently due to arrive at their destination yesterday after being dropped off higher up river on Friday to paddle down river but failed to arrive yesterday (Saturday) as expected.
At 16h00, Sunday, 11th March, NSRI port Alfred were alerted by friends and family of the 9 paddlers, men and women, overdue.
A private aircraft volunteered to assist NSRI in an initial search and the paddlers location has been found about 10km upstream.
Communications have been established with the paddlers and we believe that they are cut off from continuing downstream by a herd of Hippos and 2 of the paddlers who ventured off to seek help during the night have not returned and have not arrived at their destination and they are missing.
The 7 remaining paddlers are reportedly safe and in no imminent danger but cut off from continuing by the herd of Hippos..
The SA Police Services are alerted and the SA Air Force have been placed on alert while NSRI and emergency services investigate to determine the best way to extract the paddlers and to launch a search for the 2 missing men.
A local farmer is also assisting in an effort to establish routes to reach the 7 paddlers and the Mountain Club of South Africa have been placed on alert.
NSRI are investigating all options to launch a search for the 2 missing men and to extricate the 7 remaining paddlers.
This is a developing situation and we will update with information as the situation progresses.
Ross Badenhorst, NSRI Plettenberg Bay duty controller, said:
At 11h21, Sunday, 11th March, NSRI Plettenberg Bay duty crew were activated following reports of a drowning in progress at a residential swimming pool.
Two NSRI rescue swimmers were driving on the same road as the residence at the time and they responded while NSRI medical crew and Medlife ambulance services responded.
On arrival on the scene a woman was found holding the head of her unconscious partner out of the water but she was unable to get her partner, a 38 year old man, out of the swimming pool.
NSRI rescue swimmers recovered the man from the water and medical treatment for non fatal drowning symptoms was initiated.
Paramedics joined NSRI medics with the medical efforts and the man has been transported to hospital in a serious but stable condition by ambulance.
It is suspected that he may have experienced shallow water blackout while under water (hypoxia – oxygen starvation to the brain causing unconsciousness).
Jeremiah Jackson, NSRI Shelly Beach station commander, said:
At 11h57, NSRI Shelly Beach duty crew were activated following reports from Shelly Control of the boat Tackle Box that suspected they had lost a motor propellor while fishing at Protea Banks and in no immediate danger but requesting assistance to fit a new motor propellor.
The sea rescue craft Spirit of Dawn was launched with a spare motor propellor and on arrival on the scene the casualty boat was found to have gearbox mechanical failure.
3 crew were transferred onto the sea rescue craft and we escorted the casualty craft on limited motor power to the backline.
The 3 crew, 2 women and a man, were brought safely ashore aboard the sea rescue craft and Spirit of Dawn re-launched and we rigged a towline and towed the casualty craft with the skipper onboard to Shelly Beach without incident.
Once all were safely beached and the casualty craft recovered no further assistance was required.
WITSAND PORT BEAUFORT:
Theo Erasmus, NSRI Witsand Port Beaufort station commander, said:
On Saturday, 10 March, at 12h15 NSRI crew observed a man lying behind a vehicle that was standing parked on the slipway at the NSRI Witsand Port Beaufort sea rescue base.
On investigation we were informed by bystanders that he is from Cape Town and is part of a group of kayakers taking part in a Kayak fishing competition.
He had reportedly just come off the water and was complaining of an allergic reaction causing him to collapse.
Some of the bystanders assisted in getting the semi-conscious 42 year old man into our NSRI medical room.
He was assessed by our NSRI medical crew and was found to be in a serious condition showing signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction from unknown causes.
Medical treatment was provided by our NSRI medics and WC Government Health EMS was activated.
On their arrival paramedics stabilised the patient on scene and he has been transported to hospital in a serious but stable condition for further medical care.
He is expected to make a full recovery.
On Sunday, 11th March, at 08h30 NSRI Witsand Port Beaufort was notified by the SA Police Services of a house on fire on the Farm Rhenosterfontein about 8 km’s from Witsand.
An NSRI team responded with our fire fighting trailer and equipment. Police and Hessequa Fire and Rescue Services responded. On arrival on the scene we found the kitchen section of the house to be on fire.
Our NSRI team were able to extinguish the fire before it spread to the rest of the house. On arrival of the Hessequa Fire and Rescue Services the scene was handed over to them. It is suspected that a fuel the container used to start a coal fire had ignited causing the fire and Police are investigating. No injuries were sustained in the incident.
Mike Vonk, NSRI Wilderness duty controller, said:
At 11h42, Sunday, 11th March, NSRI Wilderness duty crew were activated following eye-witness reports from bystanders at Herolds bay suspecting a boat, with 2 persons onboard, appearing to be signalling for help by flashing a mirror or reflective object from about a kilometer off-shore.
We towed the sea rescue craft Clemengold Rescuer and launched at Herolds Bay but found the boat to be heading off under her own power and in no need of assistance and it appears that the motion of the boat in the swell caused the windscreen reflection to give a flashing appearance similar to a signal for help and it was confirmed that this was a false alarm with good intentions.
Darren Zimmerman, NSRI Simonstown station commander, said:
At 15h18, Sunday, 11th March, NSRI Simonstown duty crew launched the sea rescue craft Spirit of Surfski II and Spirit of Safmarine III to respond to a Hobie Cat capsized off-shore of Fish Hoek. Our NSRI rescue vehicle responded.
Eye-witnesses had noticed the Hobie-Cat capsized and called NSRI Kommetjie who reported the incident to NSRI Simonstown.
On arrival on the scene a Sea Scout master and 2 young Sea Scouts were found in the water and unable to right the capsized Hobie-Cat.
NSRI rescue swimmers were deployed into the surf and the 2 boys were taken onboard the sea rescue craft and they were both safe.
The 2 NSRI rescue swimmers assisted the Sea Scout master to right the Hobie-Cat.
Fish Hoek Surf Lifesaving (FHSL) lifeguards launched their surf rescue rubber duck and they took the 2 children onboard their surf rescue rubber duck and in the care of the FHSL lifeguards the 2 boys were taken ashore aboard the surf rescue craft where CMR (Cape Medical Response) paramedics medically checked the children and they were both safe and not requiring medical intervention.
On righting the Hobie-Cat NSRI towed the Hobie-Cat to Fish Hoek beach and once recovered no further assistance was required.
Geoff McGregor, NSRI East London station commander, said:
At 15h30, Sunday, 11th March, NSRI East London duty crew were activated following reports of a drowning in progress at Eastern Beach.
The NSRI sea rescue craft Spirit of Rotary and the NSRI rescue runner Lotto Rescuer were launched and our NSRI rescue vehicle, Police K9 search and rescue, EC Government Health EMS, Dynamic private ambulance services and an EMS rescue helicopter responded.
Buffalo City Municipal lifeguards were already on the scene. They had rescued 2 young men from the surf but a 22 year old local man remained missing. It appears that lifeguards had requested bathers to move to a new safe swimming zone after rip currents in a 3 meter shore break made bathing dangerous.
We believe that 3 males went into the surf into a rip current despite the safe swimming zone having been moved and lifeguards rescued 2 men but one remained missing.
Despite an extensive air, sea and shoreline search no sign of the missing man has been found and Police K-9 Search and Rescue and Police divers will continue in an ongoing search operation.
Police have opened an investigation.
TO REPORT A SEA RESCUE EMERGENCY DIAL 112 FROM A CELLPHONE