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At approximately 13h00, Sunday, 5 March, NSRI Table Bay, while at sea conducting routine training exercises, intercepted an MOB (man overboard) alert.

At the time NSRI Table Bay crew, onboard Rescue 3, were at sea and headed towards the Port of Table Bay and they had at that same moment initiated an MOB exercise as a last “at sea” exercise for the crew onboard the rescue craft before returning to base.

It was immediately recognised that the MOB alert was a real world emergency. The code word RABBIT was initiated. (RABBIT is a code word used during exercises when a real world emergency occurs which automatically cancels the exercise and the emergency takes immediate action).

It was determined that a man had reportedly fallen off the quay at the Victoria and Alfred wharf.

A number of local charter ferry boats and cruise charter boats that were in that vicinity at the time had reacted to the man fallen off the quay side into the harbour and the skipper of the local cruise charter boat Escape Cat had initiated an MOB alert which alerted all vessels in the area to respond to that GPS position.

At the time the NSRI rescue craft Rescue 3 was just on the outside of the Port of Table Bay. The MOB exercise was cancelled and Rescue 3 responded to the Victoria and Alfred Wharf.

The TNPA (Transnet National Ports Authority) Port Control, who had also received the MOB alert, were informed that Rescue 3 was responded. Port Control provided immediate permission to enter the Port of Table Bay.

WC Government Health EMS and ER24 ambulance services were activated. The V&A Security responded.

On arrival on the scene it was found that the local charter boat Escape Cat had rescued the man from the water and they had brought him to the Quay side.

NSRI medics initiated medical checks on the man.

He was found to be in a stable condition.

He was taken into the care of paramedics and as a precaution transported to hospital by EMS ambulance for further medical evaluation.

NSRI commend the swift response of V&A Security and the emergency services.

NSRI commend the local charter and ferry boats that responded to assist and the crew of Escape Cat that initiated the emergency alert and who successfully rescued the man from the water.

In particular the skipper of Escape Cat is commended for having the presence of mind in that circumstance to immediately raise an MOB alert and get the attention of all boaters in the immediate vicinity to assist without delay.

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