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OPERATION CENTRE (EOC)

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At 10h26, Sunday, 20 August, NSRI Strandfontein duty crew were activated following an eye-witness report of a dinghy, suspected to have 2 people onboard, being blown out to sea at Macassar.

Nicolette Whitehead, NSRI Strandfontein station commander, said:
The sea rescue craft Grand West CSI was launched while an NSRI rescue vehicle and City of Cape Town (CoCT) Law Enforcement officers responded to Macassar Beach.

A sea search was commenced in a 20 knot Northerly wind despite the eye-witness then suspecting that what may have been seen could have been party balloons adrift at sea.

NSRI Gordons Bay shore crew investigated launch sites but there could be no confirmation found of anyone missing, vehicles or boat trailers unattended, or anyone who may be overdue at sea.

During the extensive search the NSRI Strandfontein rescue craft by chance happened upon a surf-skier, 3 nautical miles off-shore of Monwabisi, who was found to be caught by the strong Northerly winds and he reported that he had been struggling for some time to try to get back to shore at Strand where he had launched from earlier but that the strong winds had continued to sweep him further out to sea despite his best efforts to paddle to shore.

At the same time NSRI Simonstown had been alerted by the surf-ski community of a surf-skier overdue at sea in False Bay off-shore of Strand.

It was confirmed that the surf-skier found by NSRI Strandfontein was the surf-skier that was overdue.

The local adult male surf-skier was rescued onto the NSRI rescue craft and brought safely closer to shore without incident with his surf-ski and he was able to continue to paddle towards Strand Beach and he required no further assistance.

Related to the earlier call for the dinghy it remains unknown what the eye-witness had seen but there are no reports of anyone missing at sea or overdue that may be related to this incident.

NSRI continue to encourage boaters, paddlers and sailors to download and use the NSRI SafeTrx smart phone app. as an aid to ensuring their safety at sea.

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