This morning, Saturday, 28th April, Isimangaliso Wetland staff searched along the shoreline South of Sodwana and Advantage Charters conducted sea search patrols and NSRI St Lucia crew launched a private boat to search for the missing capsized Salticrack that three men abandoned yesterday after capsizing and swimming ashore.
Other charter and private boats in the area were all tasked to keep a look-out.
The boat was found washed ashore 13.8km South of Sodwana by Isimangaliso Wetland staff who have arranged for the boat to be recovered.
NSRI thank Isimangaliso Wetland staff, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife rangers, the community of Sodwana and the charter boat companies of Sodwana for their efforts during this incident.
It has been confirmed that the three men were capsized by a wave at around 10h30, they drifted sitting on the upturned hull for over 4 hours, but they kept being washed off the hull which was causing them to become exhausted.
Noticing that they were drifting South but not getting any closer to shore one of the men dived under the boat to recover life-jackets and they made the decision to swim to shore with their life-jackets on and the swim took them just over 2 hours.
Skipper, Etienne Fouche, who was an NSRI volunteer at NSRI Hartbeespoort Dam and his crew, HJ Swanepoel and F van Wyk, aged between 31 and 34 were not injured.
On arrival on the shore, sunburnt and tired, they marked their position by leaving their life-jackets on the beach to attract any attention of anyone who might be searching for them and to mark where they had come ashore to give an indication of where a search should begin for their capsized craft adrift at sea.
While walking Northwards towards Sodwana they were located by My Lady Charters who were searching the shoreline using 4×4 vehicles.
They were found at around 18h00.
At 15h45, Friday, 27th April, Isimangaliso Wetland staff, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife field rangers, My Lady Charters and Coral Dive Charters initiated a search after family members reported 3 men (from Centurion, Gauteng) to be overdue after launching earlier in the day to go fishing off Sodwana on a 19 foot ski-boat.
My Lady charters conducted a shoreline search in 4×4 vehicles while Coral charters launched a boat.
During a search all 3 men were found safe, walking along the beach. They have been brought back to Sodwana Bay and reunited with their families.
It appears they capsized at around 10h30 about 3km off-shore of Diepgat. They drifted on the upturned hull of their boat and, after realising that they were drifting further out to sea, they decided to swim for shore.
With life-jackets on, they left their boat and swam for we believe over 3 hours until they reached shore and then they started walking Northwards along the beach before being discovered by the search party in the vicinity near to Mseni Lodge.
They were not injured.
Their boat remains capsized and adrift at sea and NSRI Richards Bay are alerted and all sea users in the area are alerted to be on the lookout. Isimangaliso Wetland staff will search the shoreline over the next few days.
NSRI commend the efforts by the search parties.
At 11h03, Friday, 27th April, NSRI Table Bay were alerted to a surf-skier who activated an emergency using his RSA SafeTrx app during the Freedom Day Freedom Paddle Event, South of Robben Island and reported to be suffering nausea from motion sickness.
While preparing to launch, NSRI Table Bay alerted NSRI Bakoven, who were on the water at the time during routine exercises and in the vicinity of the Freedom Paddle Event.
NSRI Bakoven’s sea rescue craft Rotarian Schipper diverted to the coordinates provided on the RSA SafeTrx app emergency activation and on arrival on the scene found the Freedom Paddle Event safety boat had taken the paddler onboard their safety boat.
The paddler was transferred onto the sea rescue craft and brought into Cape Town harbour without incident and no further assistance was required.
NSRI encourage boaters and paddlers to download and use the free NSRI RSA SafeTrx app http://www.nsri.org.za/safetrx/
Marlene Livingstone, NSRI Port Edward deputy station commander, said:
At 07h38, Friday, 27th April, NSRI Port Edward duty crew were activated following a request for assistance from the Vasco da Gama yacht race yacht Wallbanger reporting damaged sails and requiring extra fuel to assist the yacht, with 3 men onboard, to motor as far as their destination, East London.
After making arrangements to get fuel for the yacht, at 07h50 we received a request for assistance from a ski-boat with 4 men onboard taking part in a local Marlin angling competition and requiring assistance for motor mechanical failure.
Accompanied by a boat motor mechanic and extra fuel we proceeded aboard the sea rescue craft Wildcoast Sun Rescuer to the ski-boat to deliver the mechanic. We then went to the yacht to transfer the additional fuel and returned to pick up the mechanic who had managed to repair the boat motors of the ski-boat.
No further assistance was required and we returned to base.
Mike Shaw, NSRI Langebaan duty controller, said:
At 17h33, Friday, 27th April, NSRI Mykonos were activated following a request for assistance from a 27 foot Bayliner with 2 crew onboard, a man and woman, in the vicinity of reporting motor mechanical and requiring assistance to get to Mykonos Marina.
We dispatched the sea rescue craft Spirit of Surfski 5 and towed the casualty craft to Mykonos without incident and she has been moored at a jetty and will be moved to her own moorings tomorrow.
During this incident we were alerted to 2 male kite surfers who got into difficulty after the wind dropped causing them unable to get their kites airborne.
They swam to Schaapen Island and we fetched them from Schaapen Island bringing back to mainland aboard our sea rescue craft without incident and no further assistance was required.
TO REPORT A SEA RESCUE EMERGENCY DIAL 112 FROM A CELLPHONE