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Saturday, 8 May 2021

Assistance rendered during yacht regatta

SEA RESCUE – NSRI – STATION 35, Witbank - Travis Clack, NSRI Witbank Dam station commander, said:

At approximately 13h00, Saturday 8 May, while on stand-by at the Hunters Provincial Championships on Witbank Dam a storm approaching over the dam caused 2 yachts to be caught in severe wind gusts that filled their spinnakers leading to both yachts broaching.

Our NSRI rescue craft Sealegs had already been dispatched and was responding towards the yachts anticipating them to get into difficulty in the strong wind gusts.

The one yacht managed to recover and was still underway.

2 yachtsman from the second broaching yacht fell overboard.

We recovered both yachtsmen, one local male, age 75, and one middle aged local male, from the water.The middle aged man was lapsing in and out of consciousness while he was being recovered from the water. Once recovered they were treated for hyperthermia and for non-fatal drowning symptoms.

They were both brought ashore where they were assessed for any further injuries and they were treated for hypothermia and treatment non-fatal drowning was continued on the one man.

NSRI crew went to assist to recover the yacht which had run aground. Two fellow yachtsman assisted in lowering the sails and refloating the yacht. We deployed an NSRI rescue swimmer into the water and a towline was established and we towed her to her mooring at the Witbank Yacht and Aquatic Club.

The 75 year old male was recovering and stable while the middle aged man continued to lapse in and out of consciousness while he was being medically monitored.

Legacy Emergency Services were activated and on their arrival on the scene the man was taken into the care of Legacy Emergency Services paramedics and he was transported to hospital in a Legacy ambulance for further care and later he was released from hospital in good health

NSRI Witbank Dam commend the fellow yachtsman for their assistance as well as Legacy Emergency Services for their swift response and care for the injured man.


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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