Willem Lubbe, NSRI Yzerfontein station commander, said:
On Monday afternoon, 26th march, NSRI Yzerfontein investigated reports of a Whale shark washed ashore and hard aground 1km North of strandkombuis.
On arrival on the scene a Whale Shark was found beached and barely alive in an advanced deteriorating state and shortly after arriving on the scene sadly the Whale shark died.
Authorities are informed as well as the department of Environmental affairs – Oceans and Coasts.
It is believed that with the Whale Shark being in a remote location and not near to any built up area authorities may decide not to attempt to remove the animal.
Photo attached: By NSRI Yzerfontein. The carcass of a Whale Shark beached.
Rieghard Janse van Rensburg, NSRI Jeffreys Bay station commander, said:
At 10h30, Tuesday, 27th March, NSRI Jeffreys Bay duty crew were activated following an eye witness report of a person appearing to be in difficulty in the surf off-shore of the lagoon at Paradise Beach before disappearing beneath the surf.
The sea rescue craft Discovery Rescue Runner 12 and Eddie Beaumont II were launched and a sea search was initiated.
A sea rescue vehicle and Paradise Beach Neighbourhood Watch assisted in a shore search.
An SA Air Force 28 Squadron C-130 aircraft, en route to a sea rescue exercise in St Francis Bay, diverted and assisted in an aerial search and flew an extensive search pattern.
The SA Police Services and Kouga Fire and Rescue Services were placed on alert.
Despite an extensive search no sign of a person has been located and there have been no reports of anyone missing or overdue.
After all efforts were exhausted a formal search has been suspended pending any new information and the SA Police Services will monitor for any missing persons reports.
The credible eye-witness is commended for his assistance on the scene.