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On Tuesday, Station 6, Port Elizabeth assisted with a patient evacuation off a ship, Station 23, Wilderness investigated debris at sea, and Station 3, Table Bay assisted a yacht.


Justin Erasmus, NSRI Port Elizabeth station commander, said:

At 11h53, Tuesday, 8 September, NSRI Port Elizabeth duty crew and EC Government Health EMS were activated by the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) following and urgent request from a motor vessel approaching Port Elizabeth reporting a 47 year old Spanish crewman onboard suffering a medical emergency.

NSRI Port Elizabeth crew and an EMS rescue paramedic and an NSRI rescue paramedic responded to the NSRI Port Elizabeth sea rescue station and the sea rescue craft Spirit of Toft was launched.

An EMS ambulance responded to stand-by at our sea rescue station.

We rendezvoused with the vessel 4 nautical miles off-shore of the Port of Port Elizabeth.

An NSRI rescue swimmer and the NSRI rescue paramedic were transferred onto the ship and the patient, secured into a Stokes basket stretcher, in a high-angle technical rescue operation was transferred onto our sea rescue craft.

He was brought to shore in a stable condition in the case of the paramedics.

The patient was transported to hospital by EMS ambulance for further care.

The operation completed at 15h00.

Observing all Covid-19 precautions and protocols NSRI Emergency Operations Centre, Telkom Maritime Radio Services, WC Government Health EMS, EC Government Health EMS, NSRI Port Elizabeth duty controllers, Transnet National Ports Authority and Port Health Authorities assisted Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre in communications, coordination and logistics during the operation.


Garth Dominy, NSRI Wilderness station commander, said:

At 15h49, Tuesday, 8 September, NSRI Wilderness duty crew were activated following reports from MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre) of suspected debris and a suspected oil slick adrift 2.5 nautical miles off-shore East of the Gwaing River Mouth.

A light aircraft on approach into George International Airport reported what appeared to be the possible debris of a vessel and what appeared to be an oil slick and the pilot reported the sighting to ATC (Air Traffic Control) who alerted MRCC.

The sea rescue craft Spirit of Rotary 100 was launched and on arrival on the scene a search of the area commenced.

During a search only debris that appears to have been washed into the sea during recent storms was located.

A strong tide current creating a darker patch of water in the sea in that area may have given the pilot the impression of an oil slick.

NSRI commend the pilot for raising the alarm on the suspicion of what appeared from the air to be the possible vessel debris adrift.


Tome Mendes, NSRI Table Bay duty coxswain, said:

At 19h12, Tuesday, 8 September, NSRI Table Bay duty crew were alerted to a local yacht with 3 local crewmen onboard requiring assistance off-shore of the Port of Table Bay breakwater.

The skipper of the yacht reported their engine overheating causing engine failure and they needed assistance to get to their mooring at RCYC (Royal Cape Yacht Club).

The sea rescue craft Spirit of Vodacom was launched and we rendezvoused with the yacht outside of the breakwater.

Our sea rescue vehicle was dispatched to stand-by at RCYC.

We rafted our sea rescue craft alongside the casualty yacht and brought her in towards the RCYC jetty's.

On approaching towards their mooring the yacht was able to get her motors started and under her own power she was moored safely without incident assisted on the shore side by the NSRI shore crew from our sea rescue vehicle.

Once safely moored no further assistance was required.

The operation completed at 21h42.


The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) is the charity organisation that saves lives on South African waters – both coastal and inland. Our goal is to prevent drowning through rescue operations, education and prevention initiatives.

Operating from base stations along the SA coastline, and on inland dams, our rescue volunteers are on call, at all hours, every day of the year. Our rescue crew receives no payment and neither do we charge the people we rescue.

We visit schools around the country, teaching children about water safety. Our drowning prevention measures include our online training academy, with free courses for crew and the public, emergency signage, Pink Rescue Buoys for emergency flotation, rescue swimmers, lifeguards, and active patrols during peak seasons.

Our organisation is totally reliant on donations and sponsorships. This enables us to do the work of saving lives, changing lives, and creating futures.

You can do your bit to assist. Please visit for more information.

SEA RESCUE EMERGENCY: 112 or 087 094 9774

Released by:

Craig Lambinon


Email: | Cell: +27 (0) 82 380 3800 |

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