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Boat capsizes in Cape Vidal and Patient evacuation off a ship in Table Bay


Jan Hoffman, NSRI St Lucia station commander, said:

At 11h20, Saturday, 9 October, NSRI St Lucia duty crew were activated following reports of a boat capsized during launching at Cape Vidal Bay.

The fishing vessel was reportedly launching at the Cape Vidal launch site when the boat may have suffered engine failure to one of two outboard motors and capsized with 4 crew onboard, a 62 year old owner and skipper, from Durban, his son and his sons girlfriend, and a male family friend, onboard.

The 4 crew were thrown into the water. The capsized vessel and crew drifted Southwards to behind the main reef and out to sea in strong currents.

NSRI crew members from NSRI St Lucia happened to be on the beach at the time together with an NSRI Richards Bay crew member and together with public members they immediately responded while our NSRI St Lucia sea rescue vehicle, additional NSRI crew and Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife members responded.

Good Samaritan Jurgens Lubbe, 47, from Hazyview, was kite boarding nearby and he saw people on the beach pointing towards the water when he noticed the upturned boat with 2 men clinging onto the upturned hull and a male and female in the water nearby.

Jurgens kite boarded towards them and on reaching them he was able to pull the girl to the shore where NSRI members and public members took her from him.

Jurgens volunteered to kite board back out to assist and an NSRI rescue swimmers handed an NSRI pink rescue buoy, stationed along that stretch of beach, to Jurgens, as well as the girls life jacket,

Jurgens reached them in the water and gave the life jacket to the friend and the pink buoy to the younger man - as aids to stay afloat - they were about 30 to 40 meters apart from each other.

The son was also able to swim towards the rocks where on reaching the rocks he was pulled out of the water by NSRI rescue swimmers and public members.

Jurgens pulled the friend towards rocks where an NSRI rescue swimmer swam out and assisted the friend onto the rocks, also assisted by public members.

Jurgens then pulled the skipper from the backline towards rocks where an NSRI rescue swimmer assisted, holding onto the skipper with one hand and holding onto Jurgen's board with one hand and Jurgens pulled them towards the beach where NSRI members and public members assisted them out of the water..

Jurgens, who owns a rafting company in Hazyview, said that the wind speed lasted just long enough for him to assist to rescue the casualties and after the friend was out the water the wind died down to a point where he could no longer raise his kite.

The 62 year old skipper was seriously injured and he was medically attended to by a doctor, Dr. Pierre Els, from Richards Bay, who happened to be at the beach at the time, assisted by NSRI medics, before being transported in the NSRI rescue vehicle to St Lucia where Netcare 911 ambulance services arrived and their paramedics continued with medical treatment.

A Netcare 911 HEMS (Helicopter Emergency Medical Services) was activated and the patient was airlifted to hospital in a serious but stable condition.

During the incoming tide the capsized vessel washed towards rocks near 6o the end of the reef where we attached a rope and the vessel washed higher onto rocks in the rising tide where NSRI members, assisted by public members, righted the capsized vessel and walked the vessel, in shallow water, across the reef ledge into the Bay and recover the vessel; on the beach.

The vessel appears to have sustained minimal structural damage.

NSRI commend Jurgens Lubbe for his efforts and we commend the doctor and all of the public members who assisted.

Image source:


Paula Leech, NSRI Table Bay duty controller, said:

At 07h16, Thursday, 7 October, NSRI Table Bay duty crew and WC Government Health EMS rescue squad were activated following a request to patient evacuate a 46 year old crewman, from Ukraine, from a motor vessel at anchor 7 nautical miles off-shore of Green Point.

The man had reportedly suffered injuries after sustaining a fall onboard the vessel.

The sea rescue craft Spirit of Vodacom was launched, accompanied by an EMS rescue paramedic.

On arrival at the vessel NSRI rescue swimmers and the EMS rescue paramedic were transferred onto the vessel and they secured the patient who was then transferred onto the sea rescue craft.

Z-Med ambulance services were activated to stand-by at the NSRI Table Bay rescue base.

In the care of the EMS rescue paramedic he was brought to our NSRI rescue base at the V&A Waterfront where he was taken into the care of Z-Med paramedics and he was transported to hospital by Z-Med ambulance in a stable condition.

The operation completed at 10h48.

NSRI Emergency Operations Centre, NSRI Table Bay duty controllers, WC Government Health EMS, Telkom Maritime Radio Services, Transnet National Ports Authority, the Ports Health Authority and Police Sea Borderline Control assisted Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre in logistics and the coordination of this patient evacuation operation.

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