From 13 December 2021 until 9 January 2022, 188 operations were dealt with by the NSRI’s rescue bases.
Nine of these incidents involved animals, while 31 human lives were saved, and eight medical evacuations were carried out from vessels.
Here are a few more details on some of the NSRI’s work during the holiday period:
Animals in distress, and some causing unnecessary panic
Two turtles were assisted by the NSRI’s teams. NSRI Port Edward rescued a turtle and handed it over to Animal Rescue, while a green turtle was found in a very weak state and taken by NSRI Agulhas to the Two Oceans Aquarium.
NSRI Yzerfontein and NSRI Melkbosstrand successfully disentangled a whale that was in distress. NSRI Hout Bay and NSRI Kommetjie also assisted with a whale disentanglement, where the whale was cut free from rope that was around its head.
When it comes to our friends the seals, two found themselves in trouble and needed a bit of help, while a few others caused a bit of a stir. NSRI Kleinmond assisted an injured seal and handed it over to Animal Rescue, while NSRI Oyster Bay assisted a seal with a tight fishing net around its neck. Bay World SAR and SANPark Officials also jumped in to help and the net was successfully removed and the seal was released back into the ocean.
Following reports of a person in difficulty, NSRI Strandfontein’s Satellite Station Monwabisi investigated a missing person, only to find it was just two seals in the water. In Jeffreys Bay, the team investigated a possible shark attack only to find that it was a seal attacking a shark!
Pink Rescue Buoy rescues
NSRI Rocky Bay commended a Pink Rescue Buoy guardian who used one of the buoys to assist a mother and child caught in a rip current. Both casualties were safely returned to shore and thankfully needed no further assistance.
When the NSRI Ballito team responded to a drowning in progress, they found that the casualty was successfully rescued by a member of the public with the help of a Pink Rescue Buoy.
In addition to the Pink Rescue Buoy incident mentioned above, three more incidents involving rip currents were reported.
NSRI Strandfontein (False Bay) assisted a casualty caught in a rip current and brought them safely back to shore, while their satellite station Monwabisi assisted lifeguards in rescuing seven people swept out to sea by a rip current.
NSRI Melkbosstrand investigated a drowning in progress and found two swimmers who had been caught in rip current. They had been assisted by lifeguards and were safely back on shore.
Vessels having difficulties
Eight medical evacuations from vessels were conducted by the NSRI’s rescue bases, while scores of other vessels were given a helping hand. This included securing vessels back to their moorings, righting capsized vessels, and towing stricken vessels back to shore.
In one incident that was attended to by the NSRI team at Port Alfred, a vessel capsized with four people onboard. The vessel was righted and towed back to shore with the four injured crewmen onboard, who were handed over to an awaiting ambulance.
Business as usual – and a little unusual
As usual, the NSRI was on-hand to help with drownings, medical emergencies, search and rescue operations, and recreational activities gone-wrong like kayaking incidents and kitesurfers needing assistance.
The NSRI was also on standby during fires in Kommetjie, and NSRI Gqeberha were called in to investigate a vehicle in the waves. The SAPS was on the scene and the owner was eventually located.
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