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A solo sailor alerted NSRI Simonstown, reporting that he was rounding Cape Agulhas heading towards Simonstown, after navigating around the East Coast and Southern Cape Coastline on his sailing yacht, expecting to arrive early on Saturday morning, with engine mechanical failure and requesting assistance to get into Simonstown Harbour.


Darren Zimmerman, NSRI Simonstown station commander, said:

NSRI Simonstown remained in communication with the sailor during the night and at 07h00 on Saturday, 20 November, we launched the sea rescue craft Donna Nicholas and Spirit of Surfski II and rendezvoused with the sailing yacht off-shore of Millers Point.

At that time, 07h45, NSRI EOC (Emergency Operations Centre) and the sea rescue craft Donna Nicholas received an NSRI RSA SafeTrx emergency alert from a surf skier off-shore of Simonstown indicating an emergency from the local surf skier.

NSRI EOC made a phone call to the surf skier who confirmed that he needed urgent assistance.

NSRI Coast watchers were alerted and they immediately got "eyes on" the surf skier in distress.

The sea rescue craft Donna Nicholas diverted from the sailing yacht and responded to the position indicated on the NSRI RSA Safetrx emergency alert.

While this was happening a third call-out was received from an eye-witness reporting a swimmer appearing to be in distress off-shore of Kalk Bay Harbour.

NSRI Strandfontein duty crew were activated and NSRI rescue swimmers, from NSRI Strandfontein and from NSRI Simonstown, and the NSRI Strandfontein sea rescue craft Sharon, responded to Kalk Bay Harbour while NSRI Coast watchers in that area scoured the coastline to try to get a position of the swimmer.

At that incident no swimmer was located and NSRI believe that this may have been a local man who regularly swims in the area and there remains no report of any swimmer missing or overdue. We believe that this was a false alarm with good intentions.

The sea rescue craft Donna Nicholas arrived at the surfski incident finding a local 15 year old male had abandoned his surfski after falling out of his surfski near to Roman Rock Lighthouse and he was hanging on to the back of a fellow surf skiers craft.

An NSRI rescue swimmer was deployed into the water and the teenager was rescued onto the sea rescue craft and brought to Simonstown harbour where he was treated by CMR (Cape Medical Response) paramedics for hypothermia before being released into the care of his parents.

The surfski washed ashore and we believe that it has been recovered.

The Donna Nicholas then returned to join the sailing yacht and Spirit of Surfski II where they were entering Simons Bay.

2 NSRI rescue swimmers were transferred onto the sailing yacht and they assisted the skipper to drop his sails and take up rafting lines.

In gale force 30 to 35 knot winds the sailing yacht was rafter alongside our sea rescue craft Donna Nicholas and the sailing yacht was safely moored at a visiting mooring dock at False Bay Yacht Club and no further assistance was required.

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