Paul Bevis, NSRI Durban duty coxswain, said:
At 11h36, Friday, 02 August, NSRI Durban duty crew were activated by the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) following reports of a canoe, with 3 local men onboard, capsized in the Port of Durban, between the Esplanade sandbank and Central sandbank in the channel.
Our sea rescue craft Alick Rennie was launched, The Durban Mariner safety boat, with an NSRI crewman who works at Durban Mariner and his colleague a Durban Mariner safety officer, onboard, and they responded, Police Search and Rescue, Metro Police Search and Rescue, Police Sea Borderline officers and Life Healthcare response EMS responded.
On the NSRI rescue craft and the Durban Mariner safety boat arriving on the scene we found one man had been rescued by a private boat and he was safe, 1 man had managed to get safely ashore to the sandbank and 1 man was reported to be missing.
The 2 survivors were taken onboard our sea rescue craft and brought to shore where Life Healthcare Response EMS paramedics assessed the patients who both suffered only minor injuries and chose to refuse any further medical attention and they were advised to consult their own doctor or emergency room if required later.
An NSRI rescue swimmer free dived at the casualty canoe during a search for the missing man and Police divers and Metro Police divers conducted a scuba dive search and an extensive search of the harbour and shoreline was carried out.
No sign of the missing man has been found despite an extensive search and Police will continue in an ongoing search and recovery operation and Police are investigating the incident.
The 3 local men appear to be aged in their early 20’s and we believe they were using a canoe to get from Esplanade sandbanks to central sandbank, we believe to pump for cracker, when increasing wind conditions may have contributed to their craft capsizing.
Thoughts are with the family of the missing man in this difficult time.
TO REPORT A SEA RESCUE EMERGENCY DIAL 112 FROM A CELLPHONE