Quentin Power, NSRI Ballito station commander, said:
At 21h05, Sunday, 29th April, NSRI Ballito duty crew were activated following requests for assistance made to both NSRI Durban and NSRI Richards Bay reporting local people trapped on the North bank of the Zinkwazi River after the river mouth opened during Spring Tide causing water flowing strongly through the river mouth into the sea.
NSRI Ballito rescue swimmers responded to the scene, towing our sea rescue craft Remax Rescuer.
While responding to the scene NSRI coastwatchers informed us that one man, a 34 year old, while attempting to cross the river from the South bank in an effort to reach 2 male teenagers, aged 14 and 15. He was swept away towards the river mouth about 100 meters downstream but was able to recover himself to the North bank where he joined the 2 teenagers – despite losing all of his belongings in the process. He was not injured but they stayed on the North bank not willing to chance trying to get across the rapidly flowing water.
The teenage boys had been fishing when they were cut off by the Spring Tide that also caused the mouth of the Zinkwazi river to open into the sea.
On our arrival on the scene an approach to reach them from the North was not possible due to the rising Spring Tide. We set up a rope system and I reached them managing to get across to the North bank, in chest deep rapidly flowing water.
We put them into life-jackets and the rope system was secured between the North and South banks. They were hooked onto rope and we were able to bring all 3 of them safely across the river in relays, secured to the rope system, without incident. And we managed to recover their fishing gear.
They were not injured and no further assistance was required.
Dave Smith, NSRI Kommetjie deputy station commander, said:
At 12h40, Monday, 30th April, NSRI Kommetjie duty crew were activated following reports of a surfer in difficulty in rough seas off-shore of the Crayfish Factory, Soetwater.
The sea rescue craft Spirit of the Vines was launched, NSRI rescue swimmers were dispatched directly to the scene and the AMS/EMS Skymed rescue helicopter was activated.
On our arrival on the scene we found a local 18 year old male had managed to paddle to shore on his surfboard reaching the rocks on the shoreline after getting into difficulty while surfing. NSRI rescue swimmers reached him and he was walked to the car park and not injured he required no further assistance.
The AMS/EMS Skymed rescue helicopter stood down prior to arriving on the scene.
SPRING TIDE:NSRI urge bathers, anglers and people walking along the shoreline to be aware of Spring Tide and to exercise caution.Spring tide peaks today, 30th April, with the full moon, and will last towards the end of this week.Spring Tide causes a coastal higher than normal high tide, a lower than normal low tide and stronger than normal rip currents.Spring Tide happens during the full moon and during the new moon and lasts for a few days leading up to the full (or new) moon, peaks on the day of full (or new) moon and lasts for a few days after the full (or new) moon.
This full moon Spring Tide peaks today, Monday, 30th April, and coastal users are urged to be cautious around the coastline.