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NSRI EMERGENCY
OPERATION CENTRE (EOC)

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TABLE BAY:The swift reaction of 2 couples on the local yacht Savannah has contributed to saving the lives of a man and a woman who capsized on their sea-kayak on Sunday near to Robben Island.Marc de Vos, NSRI Table Bay station commander, said:At 15h48, Sunday, 11 October, NSRI duty controllers intercepted urgent marine VHF radio communications from the local yacht Savannah to Telkom Maritime Radio Services.Yacht Savannah requested urgent medical assistance for a 32 year old male and a 29 year old female, Capetonians, reporting that the 4 crew (2 couples) on yacht Savannah had found the couple in the water near to Robben Island.The yacht crew had rescued both casualties from the water after hearing their cries for help.On investigating they had found the 2 casualties in the water hanging onto their waterlogged double sea kayak and both casualties were exhausted and hypothermic.The 2 kayakers may have been in the 9 to 10 degree Celsius water for at least an hour.The casualties had reportedly launched at Three Anchor Bay at around 10h00 and in the vicinity of Robben Island it is believed that they may have capsized before around 15h00 after their sea kayak became waterlogged.While the 2 couples on the yacht Savannah had finished having lunch near to Robben Island they were departing to head back to Port when they heard cries for help, at first thinking that it was Seagulls making the noise, but the cries for help continued and on investigating they located the 2 kayakers in the water hanging onto their sea kayak.Both casualties were exhausted and hypothermic and they were rescued onto the yacht.While the yacht crew initiated emergency rewarming measures for hypothermia the skipper raised the alarm and began heading the yacht towards the Port of Table Bay.Our sea rescue craft Spirit of Day was launched.ER24 ambulance services were activated to stand-by at our sea rescue station at the V&A Waterfront.WC Government Health EMS Metro Control and MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre) were alerted.Our sea rescue craft rendezvoused with the yacht off-shore of the Port of Table Bay.NSRI medics were transferred onto the yacht and they assisted the yacht crew to medically stabilise the casualties.The sea kayak, which was being towed by the yacht, was taken onboard the sea rescue craft.The 2 casualties were brought to the NSRI Table Bay sea rescue station onboard the yacht and they have been transported to hospital by ER24 ambulance for further medical care and they are both in stable conditions.The skipper and crew of yacht Savannah are commended for their swift actions that contributed to saving the lives of the 2 casualties and for displaying master seamanship during this urgent emergency operation.It appears that at the time of the incident the yacht crew were returning to RCYC (Royal Cape Yacht Club) and it was by chance that the 2 kayakers were able to raise their voices in cries for help enough that were at first barely heard by the yacht crew.Had they not been discovered by the crew of yacht Savannah there was no other marine traffic in the area and a South Easterly off-shore wind was gradually increasing.NSRI commend Telkom Maritime Radio Services, NSRI Table Bay duty crew and ER24 ambulance services for their swift reaction to the emergency.NSRI are appealing to paddlers, sail boarders and boaters to download and use the free NSRI RSA SafeTrx app and carry safety equipment – properly fitting seaworthy life-jackets, cell phone fully charged in a water tight plastic sleeve with the NSRI emergency numbers programmed into the phone, referee whistles, red distress flares and let a responsible person know your departure time, route and intentions and your return time. Check-in with the responsible person on your safe return.In an emergency activate the emergency procedures on the NSRI RSA SafeTrx app, set off red distress flares and use the referee whistle to attract the attention of passing or nearby boats. -ENDS-
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