On Saturday night, 21 May, NSRI Ballito duty crew were activated to join the SA police Services, Police K9 Search and Rescue, Police Search and Rescue, Ethekwini Metro Police and their Metro Police Search and Rescue unit, Netcare 911 ambulance services, Ethekwini Fire and Rescue Services, IPSS Medical and Rescue, CERT (Community Emergency Response Team), Marshals Security and community members, in joint emergency rescue operations during flooding caused by heavy rains over the weekend.
Quentin Power, NSRI Ballito station commander, said:
In Westbrook and the La Mercy area NSRI Ballito, the emergency teams and community members rescued a total 6 persons trapped in vehicles. Their vehicles were trapped in mud on the N4 motorway.
NSRI Ballito and the emergency teams evacuated residents at the Westbrook retirement village.
Not everyone at the retirement village needed to be evacuated after the rescue teams were able to dig trenches to divert the flood waters.
In Umdloti, in Bellamont Road, 6 people were assisted out of flooded homes and a number of people were evacuated from a block of flats.
A section of that block of flats collapsed after the rescue operation was completed.
Then proceeding to North Beach Road, on the beach front, where NSRI Ballito, assisted by community members, rescued 6 persons, 4 in one operation and 2 in another operation, from 2 units of a flooded block.
On Sunday morning, 22 May, 10 people were trapped in a buildings upper floors and they were unable to escape due to thick slosh mud surrounding the building up to the 1st floor.
In a high angle technical rescue operation, using ropes, they were successfully brought to safety.
4 persons who were also trapped by mud up to the 1st floor of a neighbouring building, they were on the upper floors of the neighbouring building, they were rescued using the same high angle rope technical rescue procedure.
Then on the beach front, in the surf zone, 2 persons were trapped in the mud in the surf zone. They were successfully rescued with rescue crews using safety ropes to wade through thick mud.
Then 6 people were evacuated from units and houses in the same area, they were also trapped by the thick mud that surrounded their buildings.
NSRI Richards Bay, NSRI Umhlanga and NSRI Durban were all placed on alert to assist if necessary.
During the operation NSRI Durban dispatched additional rescue equipment.
On Sunday, 22 May, the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) and the SA Air Force (SAAF) joined in operations, together with local emergency services and DRM (Disaster Risk Management), dealing with the aftermath of the North Coast flooding over this weekend.
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