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Flash floods left a family of 6 stranded at their house on the Vaal Dam.

VAAL DAM: Jake Manten, NSRI Vaal Dam station commander, said: At 08h30, Saturday, 16 January, NSRI Vaal Dam duty crew were activated following a call by EMS made to NSI Gauteng requesting assistance at the Riet River, on Loch Vaal, Vanderbijlpark, 30 kilometers from the NSRI Vaal Dam rescue station.

ER24 ambulance services, Netcare 911 ambulance services, Private Community Medical Services, the SA Police Services and a Police Search and Rescue squad were on the scene. Our NSRI rescue vehicle, carrying our NSRI Croc and towing our NSRI Discovery Rescue Runner, was dispatched. On arrival on the scene we were met by Police Search and Rescue who had already managed to safely rescue four of the six residents from the house by wading them through the swollen river. An elderly Gauteng couple remained stranded at a house by rising flood and the rapidly flowing flood waters.

We launched our Discovery Rescue Runner, accompanied by Police divers, to attempt to rescue the couple from the house but submerged and semi submerged long farmland grass hampered efforts to reach them and the couple were unable to wade through the barely accessible flooded terrain. The SA Air Force (SAAF) was requested to assist and a SAAF Oryx helicopter airlifted the couple to safety. They were medically assessed by paramedics and loaded into an ambulance and we believe they were transported to hospital as a precaution for treatment for shock.

The rescue operation was completed at 13h40.Our NSRI Vaal Dam crew remain on alert to assist wherever necessary and the situation is being closely monitored by the rescue authorities. NSRI are appealing to communities along the Vaal rivers and dams to be vigilant for flash floods during the heavy rainfalls being experienced as water levels continue to rise from heavy rainfall in the area.

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