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On Saturday, 22nd of April, at 14h48, the NSRI Witbank Dam duty crew received a phone call from the SA Police Services K9 Search and Rescue reporting a vessel in difficulty on the Doornpoort Dam in Witbank.

Direct communication was established between NSRI duty controllers and the solo skipper on the casualty vessel, a small fishing boat.

The 51-year-old fisherman reported that while scouting the dam for fishing spots, the outboard motor had died, and the pull start rope had snapped while trying to restart the motor. Due to wind conditions, he could not make headway to the opposite shore and raised the alarm before getting into further difficulty.

The NSRI duty crew responded with our NSRI rescue vehicle towing our NSRI rescue craft FNB Wavescapes. Once on the scene, the NSRI duty crew launched our rescue craft onto the dam, located the casualty vessel, established a tow line to the casualty vessel, and towed it back to the launch site without incident. Upon arrival, the vessel was recovered, and no further assistance was required.

The NSRI commends the fisherman for raising the alarm as swiftly as he did, preventing any further complications or possible harm. The operation completed at 18h00.

We would like to remind all water users to prioritise safety and take appropriate precautions, including checking equipment before embarking on any water-based activities.

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