NSRI, lifeguards, the emergency services and Police, attended to a disturbing number of fatal and non-fatal drowning accidents over the past 4 days around the coast and on inland waters since Thursday.
At the same time lifeguards around the country saved hundreds of lives in successful intervention rescues at lifeguard protected beaches.
We are appealing to the public to have safety top of mind in and around water.
Swim at lifeguard protected beaches only during the lifeguards duty hours.
Parents must ensure that a responsible adult who is able to swim and is dedicated to constantly be on watch while the children are swimming.
Jacques Kruger, NSRI Richards Bay duty coxswain, said:
NSRI Richards Bay duty crew were activated to assist Police Search and rescue responding to Pelican Island near to Bay Hall where a local 16 year old male had disappeared in the water while swimming with 4 friends.
A Police boat and the sea rescue craft Grindrod Rescuer responded and joined lifeguards who had initiated a search.
A Police scuba diver was deployed and during a scuba dive search the body of the teenager was located and recovered from under water.
Sadly he was declared deceased.
The body of the teenager has been taken into the care of Government Health Forensic Pathology Services.
Police have opened an inquest docket.
Condolences are conveyed to the family.
KZN NORTH COAST:
NSRI Ballito duty crew and the KZN Surf Rescue network were activated following reports of 2 paddlers on a stealth fishing ski in distress off-shore of Beachbums, Tongaat.
2 skis had launched earlier and while fishing 2 paddlers on one ski reportedly had a Hammerhead on their fishing line when a large shark appeared and bumped and bit at their ski causing the ski to start sinking.
They paddled towards their friend and red distress flares were set off.
NSRI Ballito duty crew, CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) and eThekwini lifeguards responded.
On arrival on the scene the paddlers were found safely ashore and they were not injured.
The National Shark Incident group and Sharks Board will investigate the bite mark on the surfski to determine the size and species of the shark involved.
Jonathan Tufts, NSRI Gqeberha station commander, said:
NSRI Gqeberha duty crew were activated following a request from Police Search and Rescue for assistance at New Brighton Pierre where a vehicle was reported to be in the sea.
The sea rescue craft Spirit of Surfski 4 was launched and our NSRI rescue vehicle responded to join SA Police Services, Police divers, Blue water Bay Lifesaving lifeguards and Coastal Water Rescue on the scene.
Our NSRI rescue craft searched the backline off-shore as a precaution.
No persons were found in the vehicle which was recovered from the surf and Police are investigating.
Mike Shaw, NSRI Mykonos station commander, said:
NSRI Mykonos duty crew were activated to assist a 42 foot motor yacht with engine failure 1 nautical mile off-shore of Mykonos.
The sea rescue craft Spirit of Rotary East London was launched and on arrival on the scene a towline was established.
The vessel, with 3 crew onboard, was towed to the Mykonos Marina without incident and once safely berthed no further assistance was required.
NSRI Melkbosstrand and CoCT Tableview lifeguards were activated following reports of 2 people being swept out to sea at Tableview Beach.
The NSRI Bakoven sea rescue craft Gemini Legend, at sea at the time on a patrol, responded.
Prior to NSRI arriving on the scene lifeguards had assisted both casualties and they were safe and no further assistance was required.
At 19h33, Saturday, 8 January, NSRI Melkbosstrand, Law Enforcement officers and Big Bay Surf Lifesaving lifeguards were activated following reports of 4 people in difficulty in the surf zone at the far North side of Tableview Beach.
Cape Town Traffic Services transported Big Bay Surf Lifesaving lifeguards to the scene where they were able to rescue all 4 casualties from the water.
Only one casualty required medical attention and he wads attended to by lifeguards, NSRI and WC Government Health EMS paramedics.
The swift response by lifeguards, assisted by Cape Town Traffic Services is commended.
At 23h00, Saturday, 8 January, NSRI Melkbosstrand investigated eye-witness reports of a red distress flare sighted in the vicinity of Bloubergstrand.
No reports of any vessels in distress or persons missing hade been received.
Telkom Maritime Radio Services broadcast an all ships alert in efforts to narrow a search area while the Transnet National Ports Authority investigated vessels still at sea.
NSRI rescue crew were sent to investigate along the shoreline while sea rescue craft were prepped to be launched.
During investigations shoreline CCTV camera footage shows the red distress flare being set off from the beach by public members.
An investigation has been opened into the malicious false alarm and the perpetrators will be tracked down.
Andre Fraser, NSRI Mossel Bay station commander, said:
NSRI Mossel Bay duty crew were activated following reports of a kite-boarder in difficulty off-shore of Santos.
NSRI crew were dispatched to the shoreline to investigate while off-duty NSRI Mossel Bay crewmen, a father his son, on a private boat in the area at the time, reached the casualty and they assisted him to shore without incident and no further assistance was required.
Matt McDonald, NSRI Kommetjie duty coxswain, said:
NSRI Kommetjie duty crew were activated at 17h51 following eye-witness reports of a stand-up paddle boarder (SUP) appearing to be in difficulty off-shore of Scarborough.
Prior to arriving on the scene eye-witnesses confirmed that the paddle boarder had reached the shore safely.
At 19h23 NSRI Kommetjie duty crew were activated to reports of a foil sailboarder appearing to be in difficulty at least half a nautical mile off-shore of Misty Cliffs.
Our NSRI rescue vehicle responded and the sea rescue craft Spirit of the Vines was launched.
The casualty had managed to swim to shore without incident after abandoning his foil kite at sea.
Our sea rescue craft recovered his foil sail which was returned to the most grateful man and no further assistance was required.
Marc de Vos, NSRI Table Bay station commander, said:
NSRI table Bay duty crew were activated by the Transnet National Ports Authority following a request for assistance from a local 65 foot motor yacht reporting engine and steering failure and needing a tow into the Port of Table Bay.
The local charter vessels Jolly Roger and and Serenity One were standing-by at t5he casualty vessel ready to lend a hand if required.
Our sea rescue craft Spirit of Vodacom and Spirit of Day were launched.
On arrival on the scene in choppy seas with a 20 knot South Easterly wind NSRI crew were transferred onto the casualty vessel to assist.
A towline was established and we towed the motor yacht, with the permission of Port Controllers, to Quay 7 where she was moored and where emergency repairs were made.
Within the hour she was able to continue under her own power to her moorings at the V&A Waterfront.
NSRI commend the crews of Jolly Roger and Serenity One for their assistance.
Andrew Hirsch, NSRI Bakoven duty coxswain, said:
NSRI Bakoven duty crew were activated to assist a local boat with engine failure off-shore of Saunders Rocks, Bantry Bay.
On arrival on the scene a towline was established and we towed the boat without incident to OPBC (Oceana Power Boat Club) where we assisted to recover the casualty boat onto her trailer and no further assistance was required.
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