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With Spring approaching NSRI are appealing to the public to be cautious in and around water. Weather conditions are improving as we head towards warmer weather but Winter sea conditions, with rough seas, strong winds and often stormy conditions prevail.


NSRI are appealing to anyone launching any kind of craft to go to sea to download and use the NSRI RSA SafeTrx free cellphone application.

NSRI responded to a number of calls over the past few days and we are reminding boaters, sailors and paddlers to always consult SAWS (South African Weather Service) forecasts before launching, prepare for expected weather conditions and have and use the NSRI RSA SafeTrx app on your cellphone.

We are also appealing to sea going and inland water users - boaters, sailors and paddlers - to have easily accessible safety gear onboard their craft - cellphones fully charged and stored in watertight plastic sleeves, the NSRI emergency numbers 112 and 0870949774 programmed into your phone, red distress flares, bright coloured craft and clothing, a referee whistle, wear properly fitting life-jackets and know how to use your safety equipment in an emergency.

Prepare yourself and your crew for an emergency so that everyone is familiar with what to do when an emergency situation arises.

Children should have responsible adult supervision in and around water.


Mike Vonk, NSRI Wilderness deputy station commander, said:

At 13h05, Saturday, 28 August, NSRI Wilderness duty crew were activated following eye-witness reports of what appeared to be a paraglider in distress on Island Lake.

NSRI rescue swimmers responded directly to the scene while NSRI crew responded to our sea rescue base and towed our sea rescue jet rib which we launched on Island Lake.

On arrival on the scene we found that it was a 50 year old male, from Somerset West. He was swimming towards the shore with his kite-board, not a paraglider, and a local man on a canoe had paddled out to assist the man.

We took the man onboard our sea rescue craft and brought him to shore and he required no further assistance.

We commend the eye-witness who called NSRI and we commend the man on his canoe who went to assist the kite-boarder.


Darren Zimmerman, NSRI Simon's Town station commander, said:

At 18h00, Saturday, 28 August, NSRI Simon's Town duty crew were activated following an eye-witness report of a RHIB (Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat) appearing to be in difficulty in fading daylight with a lone fisherman onboard North of Millers Point.

An NSRI coast watcher was dispatched to investigate and on arrival on the scene the local fisherman was seen to be flashing a light towards the shore indicating he was in distress.

The sea rescue craft Spirit of Surfski 2 was launched and on arriving on the scene we found the fisherman had anchored his craft after he experienced engine failure.

A towline was established and we towed the craft to Millers where we assisted him to recover his craft and no further assistance was required.

We commend the eye-witnesses who called NSRI.


Junre Marais, NSRI Yzerfontein duty commander, said:

On Saturday, 28 August, at 14h45, NSRI Yzerfontein duty crew were completing training when we noticed a boat whose crew appeared to be struggling to recover the boat at the slipway in Yzerfontein Harbour with their boat threatening to capsize after only partially been put onto the trailer.

Our NSRI crew went to assist and we helped the local skipper and his 3 passengers, from Gauteng, to recover their boat onto her trailer without incident.

On Sunday, 29 August, NSRI Yzerfontein duty crew were activated at 08h00 following eye-witness reports of flares sighted off-shore West of Yzerfontein.

While responding to launch our sea rescue craft a local commercial fishing boat reported that they had intercepted a Marine VHF radio distress call from a fellow commercial fishing boat, from Lamberts Bay, reporting to be taking water and sinking with 10 crew onboard.

Our sea rescue craft Rotary Onwards was launched and on arrival on the scene it was determined that a cooling pipe had come loose on their inboard motor that caused flooding of the engine compartment.

Unable to restart their engine despite repairing the cooling pipe we took them under tow and while we were towing them towards Yzerfontein they managed to get their engine started and requiring no further assistance we released the towline and they headed out to sea to carry on fishing.

At 08h50, Sunday, 29 August, we diverted our sea rescue craft Rotary Onwards to respond to a fishing vessel requesting medical assistance 6 nautical miles West of Yzerfontein, 2 nautical miles North North West of Dassen Island.

We rendezvoused with the fishing vessel and the casualty male , suffering a medical complaint, was transferred onto our sea rescue craft and we brought him to Yzerfontein Harbour.

He was in a stable condition and he was taken away by his family on the advice to consult a doctor.


Quentin Power, NSRI Ballito station commander, said:

On Tuesday, 31 August, at 12h00, NSRI Ballito duty crew were activated following reports of a kayaker in distress between La Mercy and Zimbali, approximately 1 kilometer off-shore.

While attempting to get more details cellphone contact was lost with the man and this was found out later to be due to his cellphone getting submerged when the waterproof pouch filled with water.

I diverted from my work place to try and get a visual on the kayaker.

Ethekwini Municipal lifeguards, from Umdloti and from Westbrook, were activated to assist while our coast watchers were put on alert to help to get a visual of the distressed kayaker.

Within a few minutes one of our NSRI coast watchers had spotted the casualty approximately 1 kilometer off-shore of Beach Bums and he could be seen to be struggling in the water with his kayak which appeared to be sinking.

On arrival at scene i noticed the casualty craft was completely submerged and the kayaker was in the water approximately 800 meters offshore and he was swimming with his submerged kayak towards the beach.

One of our NSRI crew had arrived on scene and I handed over communications and beach control to our crew member and I swam out to assist the kayaker who by that stage was suffering exhaustion and I reached him and assisted him.

The Ethekwini lifeguards rescue craft from Westbrook arrived on the scene, skippered by senior lifeguard MJ Mkhize, and the exhausted casualty was taken onboard the lifeguards rescue craft. His submerged kayak and gear were recovered from the sea and drained of water.

The lifeguard rescue craft, with the casualty and myself onboard, beached at Westbrook. The kayaker was medically checked by the lifeguards and by NSRI medics and he was not injured.

He was assisted back to his vehicle at La Mercy, with his kayak, and no further assistance was required.

NSRI commend the swift response of all involved.

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