Martin Fourie, NSRI Witsand station commander, said:
On Friday morning, 29th
of March, just after 07h00 NSRI Witsand duty crew were activated following reports of a kayak fisherman suspected to be in distress following an NSRI RSA SafeTrx emergency alert.
Our crew launched the sea rescue craft Breede Rescuer and after a quick search managed to locate the fisherman close to The Point at Infanta.The fisherman had experienced a malfunction with his cell phone that caused an accidental SafeTrx emergency alert.Finding him in no trouble he reset his cell phone and the app cancelled the emergency alert and we returned to base.Then, at 11h10 we received various calls from eye witnesses reporting a kayak fisherman appearing to be in distress off-shore of Witsand.He had broached his kayak and got separated from the kayak in the surf zone.Our sea rescue craft Breede Rescuer and Falcon Rescuer launched.After a quick search the Breede Rescuer crew spotted the fisherman in the surf zone.The casualty was picked up and Breede Rescuer headed beyond the surf zone to attend to the casualty.Our crew on Falcon Rescuer recovered his the kayak and brought it to shore where it was handed over to a friend of the fisherman who was waiting on the beach.While the crew attended to the casualty another kayak fisherman was found to be in difficulty and he was also loaded onto Breede Rescuer and found to be suffering possible exhaustion and his kayak was recovered.Following some rest neither fishermen required any further medical attention and they were reunited with their friends and gear on the shore and we returned to base.On Saturday afternoon, 30th
of March, at 14h30 we were activated to reports of another kayak fisherman in distress.This information was again received via an emergency alert on the cellphone app NSRI RSA SafeTrx.Our sea rescue craft Falcon Rescuer was launched while off duty NSRI crew members who were fishing out in the bay, diverted from their fishing and responded aboard their private boat, Swallow 3, to assist.Our Falcon Rescuer crew spotted the kayak fisherman on the inside of “Hen en Kuikens” and this was found to be a positive NSRI RSA SafeTrx emergency alert
.He was taken aboard Falcon Rescuer and brought back to our sea rescue base and his kayak was recovered.He was not injured and no medical attention was needed.Falcon Rescuer returned back to sea, through the bar and met up with Swallow 3 to patrol the coastline.At this stage another report came through of possible kayak fishermen in distress on the Infanta side. After another search our NSRI crew on Swallow 3 met up with 2 surfers who had been mistaken by eye witnesses as two paddlers appearing to be in distress.The two surfers required no assistance.On returning through The Bar and as both sea rescue craft were heading in through the channel we found a kayak fisherman battling against the outgoing currents in an outgoing tide.Although he was in no immediate distress it was decided that Falcon Rescuer would hold back and give the fisherman the necessary time to go through his paces while we kept an eye on him until he was out of the danger zone which with extra effort he accomplished and he required no further attention.We want to commend all the people who kept an eye out this weekend and for their quick response in raising the alarms. TO REPORT A SEA RESCUE EMERGENCY DIAL 112 FROM A CELLPHONE