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NSRI Yzerfontein duty crew were activated following a distress phone call from a lady reporting that she, her husband, her dad and her son were on a boat capsized 200 meters off-shore of Yzerfontein harbour and they were clinging onto the upturned hull of the capsized boat.

Junre Marais, NSRI Yzerfontein station commander, said

Our duty crew responded to our NSRI rescue station and the NSRI rescue craft Rescue 34 was launched.

On arrival on the scene all 4 casualties were rescued onto our NSRI rescue craft and they were brought to shore safely.

They were treated at our NSRI rescue station for hypothermia before being released requiring no further medical assistance.

Our NSRI rescue craft returned to the capsized catamaran pleasure craft that was adrift off-shore. Attempts were made to right the craft at sea before we towed the capsized craft to the Yzerfontein harbour slip-way.

It appears that the family, skipper, 43, his wife, 39, their son, 8, from Durbanville, and his wife's dad, 65, from Yzerfontein, during a morning recreational fishing trip they were returning from Dassen Island.

On their approach towards Yzerfontein harbour their boat capsized near to the Dolosse after a breaking wave washed over their boat.

After being thrown off the boat they were able to swim towards the upturned hull of the boat and clamber onto the upturned hull but there was no sign of the 8 year old.

Despite struggling to hold onto the hull the dad and grandfather were removing their jackets and shoes to initiate a search for the child when at that moment the child emerged from under the boat.

We believe that the child was trapped under the boat in a pocket of air and realising that the buoyancy of his life-jacket would prevent him from escaping from under the hull he removed his life-jacket which enabled him to dive under the boat and swim out from under the boat.

He popped up from under water to the relief of his family.

They hauled him onboard the upturned hull of the boat.

All four casualties were clinging onto the upturned hull of the boat adrift in heavy sea swells that were washing over them.

The female, using her phone that she had in her jacket pocket, which to their surprise was working despite being submerged in sea water, phoned NSRI, raising the alarm.

Describing their peril - herself, her husband, their child and her dad were trapped on the hull of the capsized boat - she requested urgent NSRI assistance.

It appears that there were no eye-witnesses to the capsizing and the only call NSRI received was thanks to the phone, in the jacket of the female casualty, that was used to raise the alarm.

NSRI commend the child for his quick thinking to remove his life-jacket to enable his escape from under the capsized boat.

After all were safely in the harbour and they were rewarmed at our NSRI rescue station community members were then rallying to assist the casualty family.

It was then that a bystander, a 67 year old Yzerfontein man, who was at the harbour and lending boat advice to the rescued family, collapsed unconscious.

NSRI medics, assisted by a bystander, who is a friend of the casualty family, commenced CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) efforts. He is commended for assisting in these efforts.

WC Government Health EMS, a local doctor and the SA Police Services responded.

After all efforts to resuscitate the man were exhausted sadly he was declared deceased by the doctor.

The body of the man was taken into the care of Government Health Forensic Pathology Services.

Condolences are conveyed to the deceased man's family and friends.


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