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OPERATION CENTRE (EOC)

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Plettenberg Bay – Tuesday, 27 April. Boat gets into trouble in the river mouth:Marc Rodgers, NSRI Plettenberg Bay duty coxswain, said:At 21h27, Tuesday, 27 April, NSRI Plettenberg Bay duty crew were activated following eye-witness reports of a boat drifting out to sea through the Keurbooms River Mouth.Our duty crew responded to our sea rescue base and the sea rescue craft Free Runner and Ray Farnham Rescuer were launched.On arrival on the scene we found a river boat stranded on a shallow semi-submerged sandbank 300 meters out to sea after the boat had swept through the Keurbooms River Mouth.The skipper, a local adult male, was safe on the sandbank attempting to pull his boat towards the shore.6 Crew, 3 adults (2 females and a male), and 3 children, were found safe ashore.We beached our sea rescue craft on the shallow semi-submerged sandbank and our NSRI rescue swimmers assisted the skipper to begin hauling the river boat towards the beach.Our NSRI rescue vehicle and our Side By Side rescue vehicle responded.The owners boat trailer was collected and brought to the beach.A private NSRI crew members 4x4 vehicle was used to attach a towline to the casualty craft which was towed, and hauled by NSRI rescue swimmers, to shore.Illuminating flares were to assist to guide us during the efforts to haul the casualty boat to shore.The casualty boat was beached and recovered.It appears that the group were having a braai on their boat on the Keurbooms River when preparing to depart they were caught in the rapid outgoing tide at the turn of the peak of Spring Tide that began to sweep the boat out to sea.The skipper may have attempted to power the boat out of danger but the boats anchor was still deployed causing the boat to swirl in the strong currents.The skipper ordered the crew to abandon the vessel and wade and swim to shore which they managed to do.The boats propellor appeared to have then been caught in the anchor line and the boat was swept out to sea rapidly and fortunately she came to rest on the shallow semi-submerged sandbank 300 meters off-shore and about 10 meters from the wave line when NSRI arrived on the scene.There were no injuries and once the casualty boat was recovered no further assistance was required.
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