UPDATE: Following our media report – two swimmers have come forward to say that they swim in the area every day. They came to shore safely. They did not know we were searching for them. Only realised this when reading the news today. One of them is apparently a long distance swimmer.
Rhine Barnes, NSRI Melkbosstrand station commander, said:
At 17h09, Thursday, 26th April, NSRI Melkbosstrand duty crew were activated following reports of a drowning in progress in the surf at Bloubergstrand.
A man was reported to being swept out to sea by rip currents and it appeared that a second man had gone into the surf to assist and it appeared that the second man was also swept out to sea before eye-witnesses lost sight of both men.
NSRI sea rescue craft Spirit of Brenda, a sea rescue vehicle, NSRI rescue swimmers, a Big Bay Surf Lifesaving rescue craft and Big Bay Surf Lifesaving lifeguards, Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services and a Fire and Rescue Services dive unit, WC Government Health EMS and an EMS rescue squad, Community Medics, the EMS/AMS Skymed rescue helicopter, a drone with an infrared camera and the SA Police Services and a Police dive unit conducted an extensive search.
Fire rescue divers, NSRI rescue swimmers and Big Bay Surf Lifesaving lifeguards conducted free dive sweeping line search efforts in the surf.
The Skymed rescue helicopter and later a drone with infrared.
The 2 rescue craft of NSRI and of Big Bay Lifesaving on the water.
An extensive shoreline search and interviewing eye-witnesses.
Despite an extensive sea, air and shoreline search no sign of the 2 men were found.
It was reported by eye-witnesses that 2 men in wet suits were seen coming out of the surf further down the beach and they left the scene but it could not be confirmed that they were the men who were in difficulty.
NSRI, Big Bay Surf Lifesaving and Police continued to monitor during the night but no reports of any persons missing, related to an incident of this nature, have been reported to Police.
Norman Rautenbach, NSRI Richards Bay duty coxswain, said:
On Wednesday, 25th April, at 09h12, NSRI Richards Bay duty crew activated following reports of a jet-ski with 2 local men onboard, with the jet-ski experiencing motor mechanical failure and drifting towards the shipping lane in the Port of Richards Bay.
The sea rescue craft Spirit of Round Table II was launched and on arrival on the scene the casualty jet-ski was found being towed by the local private ski-boat Island Bay.
Island Bay towed them to where they launched and their jet-ski was recovered without incident.
Island Bay were on the water testing motors when they noticed the jet-ski adrift and they went to their assistance and we commend the crew of Island Bay for their assistance.
TO REPORT A SEA RESCUE EMERGENCY DIAL 112 FROM A CELLPHONE