Quentin Power, NSRI Ballito station commander, said:At approximately 08h42, Saturday, 15th February, NSRI Ballito duty crew were activated following a request for assistance from the crew of a pencil Rigid Inflatable Boat 1 nautical mile offshore of Tinley Manor reporting that they had lost their gearbox with 2 crew onboard, a man and his wife, and they were adrift without motor power.
It remains unknown what caused the gearbox to shear from the motor.
Our sea rescue duty crew responded in our sea rescue vehicle towing the sea rescue craft Freemasons Way to be launched at Tinley Manor.
With the casualty craft being adrift at sea we requested the assistance of a local fishing vessel who were in the area, Sandman, to divert to assist in securing the casualty craft until NSRI arrived on scene and they obliged.
During the launching of our sea rescue craft the skipper of the fishing vessel Sandman advised us on VHF radio communications that with the favourable surf conditions and considering that they already had a towline rigged to the casualty craft they volunteered to tow the casualty craft ashore where our NSRI crew could meet them and assist to recover the casualty craft to the beach.
Sandman towed the casualty craft to shore without incident and with the assistance of members of the Umhlali Ski-boat Club and their tractor and with our NSRI crew on the scene the casualty craft was recovered onto her trailer.
Once the casualty craft was recovered no further assistance was required and the owners will have their boat repaired.
We thank the skipper of Sandman Kelly Smith and the crew of Sandman for diverting to assist and we thank the Umhlali Ski-boat club members for their assistance.
Garth Dominy, NSRI Wilderness station commander, said:
At 12h20, Sunday, 16th February, NSRI Wilderness duty crew were activated following reports of 3 men being swept out to sea in rip currents at Leentjiesklip, Wilderness, and an adult male, a Good Samaritan, a man who was playing volleyball on the beach with friends, armed with an NSRI Pink Rescue Buoy, had launched into the surf to attempt to assist the 3 men after he had grabbed the NSRI Pink Rescue Buoy off its pole on the beach and after he had instructed bystanders that were there to call the emergency telephone number, displayed on the signage board of the NSRI Pink Rescue Buoy, to raise the alarm.
The bystanders contacted the NSRI emergency number, raising the alarm and providing an accurate description of the incident that was unfolding and they provided the number displayed on the NSRI Pink Rescue Buoy signage board giving our responding NSRI and emergency services resources an exact location of the incident.
The sea rescue craft Clemengold Rescuer was launched and NSRI rescue swimmers and WC Government Health EMS responded to the scene.
On arrival on the scene we found that the 3 men had managed to reach rocks and they had managed to get themselves out of the surf unassisted after being caught in rip currents while swimming and swept out to sea and the man with the NSRI Pink Rescue Buoy had reached the backline in the surf and on finding all 3 casualties to be safely out of the water and on the rocks he had swum back to shore through the surf and he rehoused the NSRI Pink Rescue Buoy on her pole.
EMS paramedics treated the 3 casualties, local men, aged in their late 20’s and early 30’s, for scrapes and bruises sustained while clambering onto the rocks and following medical treatment they required no further assistance.
NSRI commend the Good Samaritan who launched into the sea armed with the NSRI Pink Rescue buoy and we commend the bystanders on the beach who raised the alarm, for their efforts.