Reinard Geldenhuys, NSRI Agulhas station commander, said:
At 11h40, Wednesday, 08th May, NSRI Agulhas duty crew were activated following reports of Kayakers in distress and being blown out to sea in strong North Westerly winds off-shore of Saxon Reef, South of Arniston.
The sea rescue craft I&J Rescuer II was towed to Arniston and launched at Arniston harbour, NSRI crew responded directly to the scene, WC Government Health EMS responded and NSRI ASR (Airborne Sea Rescue) and the EMS/AMS Skymed rescue helicopter were placed on alert by Metro EMS Control.
On arrival on the scene 1 kayaker was found safe ashore and 4 kayakers were struggling against the strong winds to come ashore.
3 of the remaining 4 kayakers made it to shore safely without assistance and the final kayaker was rescued 400 meters off-shore and brought to shore aboard our sea rescue craft.
They were medically evaluated by EMS paramedics and not injured they required no further assistance.
NSRI and the emergency services are commended for the swift response.
NSRI encourage anyone launching any kind of craft onto the ocean to have a safety conscious mind set and be prepared for an emergency: Check out the weather forecast and the expected sea conditions ahead of time and be prepared for the forecast conditions. Download and always use the free smartphone app NSRI RSA SafeTrx. Carry safety equipment – a plastic referee whistle, a cellphone fully charged in a water tight sleeve with the sea rescue emergency phone numbers programmed into your phone, a Marine VHF handheld radio in a water tight sleeve, red distress flares and know how to use them, a waterproof torch with fresh batteries, and wear your life-jacket while your craft is underway (children should wear properly fitting children’s life-jackets). Let a responsible person know your launch time, your intended route, stick to your plans, your estimated return time and check-in with the responsible person on your safe return. Have an action plan in place if you fail to return as scheduled – the responsible person should not hesitate to contact sea rescue.
Jean Le Roux, NSRI Hermanus duty controller, said:
At 15h06, Wednesday, 08th May, NSRI Hermanus duty crew were activated following an eye-witness report suspecting a boat appearing to be in distress and possibly taking water at Meerensee on the Fisherhaven Lagoon.
Our sea rescue craft Maritimus was towed to the lagoon and launched onto the Lagoon to initiate a water search and NSRI rescue crews searched along the shoreline.
During a search it was confirmed that the appearance of the boat in distress was a false alarm with good intentions and NSRI returned to base.
The eye-witness who suspected a boat and persons to be in distress is commended for alerting NSRI to fully investigate.
TO REPORT A SEA RESCUE EMERGENCY DIAL 112 FROM A CELLPHONE