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At 07h18, Friday, 2 April, NSRI Kleinmond duty crew were activated following reports of a drowning in progress at Rooi Els.Eye-witnesses reported 2 males in the water with a floatation tube and they had reportedly been in difficulty in the water for over 45 minutes.


Tania Meiring, NSRI Kleinmond duty coxswain, said:

NSRI Kleinmond dispatched rescue swimmers to the scene and NSRI Gordons Bay duty crew were activated and launched the sea rescue craft Spirit of Surfski.GB Med Sec ambulance services responded. While responding to the scene it was confirmed that a private boat with 3 local men onboard had launched to go to the assistance of the 2 casualties. The crew on the private boat had taken the NSRI pink rescue buoy from the Rooi Els slipway with them.

William Boltmann told NSRI that they have a holiday house in Rooi Els.William, age 36, his brother Richard, age 32, and their friend Francois Koekemoer, age 46, were preparing to go crayfishing on their 5 meter RHIB (rigid hull inflatable boat) when they informed by an NSRI coastwatcher of 2 males, age 27 and 19, who had been swept off rocks while crayfishing and they were being swept out to sea. A floatation tube had been thrown to them by friends on the shore and they were holding on to the floatation tube but they were unable to recover themselves onto rocks because of heavy sea conditions. The 3 Good Samaritans were informed that NSRI were on their way. They launched their RHIB and they took the NSRI pink rescue buoy, that is stationed at the Rooi Els slipway, with them.

On their arrival they were unable to get their RHIB close inshore and they attempted to throw the pink rescue buoy, which they had attached to a rope, to the 2 casualties but it was being blown away in the wind.William then jumped into the water armed with the pink rescue buoy and he got the buoy to one one of the casualties and the crew on the boat pulled him to the boat and he was rescued onto the boat. William then swam the rescue buoy to the second casualty and he was also pulled onto the boat and rescued.NSRI rescue swimmers had arrived on the scene by that stage but both casualties were safe on the RHIB and they were brought to the slipway where they were taken into the care of GB Med Sec paramedics.

They were treated for non-fatal drowning symptoms and for hypothermia.The 2 casualties are from Kuils River.NSRI commend the swift action of William Boltmann, his brother Richard, and their friend Francois Koekemoer, who together contributed to saving the lives of the 2 casualties.


Alan Meiklejohn, NSRI Gordon's Bay station commander, said:

At 14h35, Friday, 2 April, NSRI Gordon's Bay duty crew were activated to assist 4 men from Wellington on a Kree Bakkie (small open fishing boat) reporting engine failure off-shore of Rooi Els. Although they had deployed their anchor they were in too deep water and their anchor had not reached the seabed and they were drifting.

We dispatched the sea rescue craft Spirit of Surfski and while responding to the scene they reported getting their motors started but despite that we continued to respond as a precaution. We met up with them off-shore of Koegel Baai where their engine had failed again and we took them under tow. We towed the small fishing boat with the dad, his 2 sons and a male friend, to Harbour Island where their boat was recovered and they required no further assistance.


Alan Meiklejohn, NSRI Gordon's Bay station commander, said:

At 07h11, Saturday, 3 April, NSRI Gordon's Bay duty crew were activated following reports from an NSRI coastwatcher of a capsized boat witnessed adrift off-shore of Maas Baai, Hangklip. NSRI Kleinmond duty crew were also activated and the EMS/AMS Skymed rescue helicopter was placed on alert. Our sea rescue craft Spirit of Surfski was prepared to be launched and NSRI Kleinmond launched their NSRI jet rib and their sea rescue craft Jaytee III.

An off-duty NSRI Gordon's Bay crewman who was fishing in the area on a sea kayak paddled out to the capsized boat and he was able to find a boat name and registration number for the boat on the boats fire extinguisher. That information was given to SAMSA (South African Maritime Safety Authority) who were able to establish a contact number for the owner. On contacting the owner he confirmed that there had been himself and a crewman onboard and they had capsized on Friday evening at 18h00 and they were both able to get to shore and they were safe. They had alerted the Police to the capsizing.

NSRI Kleinmond towed the casualty craft to shore where it was recovered by the owner.

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