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At 05h00, Wednesday, 2 February, NSRI Port Nolloth duty crew prepared our sea rescue craft Vodacom Rescuer 2 which we towed to the Orange River, Richtersveld near to Alexander Bay, to assist "Have a Heart" and "Network for Animals" to save horses trapped on islands on the flooded Orange River.

Hugo Foot, NSRI Port Nolloth station commander, said:

The wild horses had been trapped on small island in rising waters and some of the horses were reported to be tethered.

On arrival on the scene our sea rescue craft, accompanied by members of "Have a Heart" and "Network for Animals" was launched.

Public members, 4 Namibians, Jacques Kemp, Mark Kemp, Mauricio Smit and Dewald van Jaarsveld, from the Namibian side of the river, launched their 2 private boats offering to help to assist in the operation.

The horses were scattered in groups across a number of smaller island that they had sought shelter on. As islands were flooded the horses were forced to swim to the next island, causing the horses to be scattered over a large area, some already standing on islands that had submerged.

In an intense operation the horses were corralled and walked through chest deep water and at places swum through water to reach larger islands.

We went from island to island continuing to assist until all of the horses were safe.

In total 35 horses, which included 3 foal's, were assisted to safety.

Once all horses were out of danger no further assistance was required and the operation was completed at approximately 11h00.

The 4 Namibians, "Have a Heart", "Network for Animals" and our NSRI Port Nolloth rescue team are commended for saving the horses.

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