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Multiple incidents around our coastline and on inland waterways has highlighted an urgent appeal from NSRI, Police and Law Enforcement agencies, lifeguards and the Emergency Services, to recreational water uses - bathers, boaters, paddlers, sailors and fishermen to have safety top of mind in and around water.

On Friday 3 lives were saved by NSRI Gordons Bay who swiftly responded to Koegel Bay following reports of a small boat capsized off-shore with 3 males onboard.

2 NSRI Gordons Bay rescue craft arrived on the scene 3 minutes after the alarm was raised finding 1 person clinging to the upturned hull and 2 people in the water.

They had called a friend to raise the alarm and they were were able to set off red distress flares.

On Saturday 3 lives were saved by NSRI Bakoven after NSRI Coast watcher’s in Sea Point raised the alarm predicting early that 3 Stand-Up paddle (SUP) boarders on 2 SUP's, a hundred meters off-shore of Rocklands Beach, were at risk of being swept out to sea as wind speeds picked up suddenly.

The fishing vessel Nicolette had also spotted the 3 people on their 2 SUP's being swept out to sea and the fishermen were able to use their fishing vessel to provide them a Lee from the wind almost a nautical mile off-shore until NSRI Bakoven arrived on the scene.

They were taken to Oceana Power Boat Club where WC Government Health EMS paramedics treated them for hypothermia.

On the West Coast, between Yzerfontein and Saldanha Bay, NSRI Yzerfontein, NSRI Mykonos and the Transnet National Ports Authority conducted an extensive search operation for 2 people on a pencil racing duck who went missing in the vicinity of Langebaan Lagoon while training for the Trans Agulhas. They were eventually found to have washed into the Saldanha Bay Iron Ore area and they were safe.

We are appealing to boaters, paddlers and sailors to download and use the NSRI RSA SafeTrx smart phone application, wear gear appropriate for the expected weather and water temperatures, wear life-jackets, and have a referee whistle, brightly coloured clothing and craft, red distress flares, fully charged cell-phones in water tight plastic sleeves, and let a responsible person know your launch time, route and return time – and all involved should have the emergency numbers 112 and 0870949774 at the ready to raise the alarm.

An incident at Durban’s North Beach where 3 lives were lost and that led to multiple bathers injured, a further 4 fatal drownings around coast and cases at False Bay and Camps Bay where bathers remain missing, we are appealing to bathers to swim at beaches protected by lifeguards.

At 01h00 on Sunday, 18 December, NSRI Bakoven and the SA Police Services searched between Camps and Glen Beach where a group of people had earlier entered the water and then reported that one person went missing in the surf.

Police divers are continuing in a search at Camps Bay for that 42 year old female who remains missing.

Have safety in mind on inland rivers, lakes, dams, at swimming pools and in and around any body of water. Do not try to cross fast flowing rivers or at bridges submerged in water.

We urge parents to ensure that children have responsible adult supervision when swimming or around water.

Lifeguards have intervened in hundreds of cases since the start of December at lifeguard protected beaches preventing accidents before they occur and they have rescued multiple people who got into difficulties at beaches.

We are appealing to everyone to be safe.

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Boat capsizes in Plettenberg Bay

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