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NSRI Gordons Bay duty crew were activated following reports of a man on an SUP waving for help after being blown out to sea off-shore of Whale Point.

GB Med Sec ambulance services also responded.

The NSRI Gordons Bay rescue craft JetRib Helga reached the man and he was rescued and brought safely to shore with his SUP.

He and a friend had launched earlier at Bikini Beach where the one man had been swept away by strong winds gusts.

An NSRI crewman hiking with his daughter in the mountains above Gordons Bay noticed the 2 men appearing to be in difficulty. One man could be seen making headway and one man appeared to be in difficulty and they had raised the alarm.

The casualty man was not injured and no further assistance was required.

Then, at 17h18 NSRI Gordons Bay duty crew were activated following reports of at least 4 swimmers in difficulty 1 kilometer off-shore between Gordons Bay Harbour and Harbour Island.

On investigation, it was found that they were simply swimming and they needed no assistance.


At 14h15, Wednesday, 27 September, NSRI Oyster Bay and NSRI Storms River were activated to join SA National Park rangers responding to the Waterfall Trail, near the waterfall, at the Storms River, Tsitsikamma National Park, where a male Israeli tourist, who was with his wife, had sustained an injury during a hike.

On reaching the couple medical treatment was initiated for the man, who was in a stable condition but hampered from walking.

Because of a rising Spring tide and his injury, it was deemed not safe to try to get him back to the Tsitsikamma parking area along the footpath.

EC Government Health EMS and WC Government Health EMS were alerted and an EMS/AMS Skymed rescue helicopter was authorised to respond from Oudtshoorn by Metro EMS Control.

On the rescue helicopter's arrival on the scene, the man was airlifted by Skymed to the car park while SANPark rangers and NSRI crew walked the wife to the car park.

They then went by own transport to a hospital in Plettenberg Bay for further treatment where the man is expected to make a full recovery.

Oyster Bay and Storms River Tsitsikamma Rescue 28 Sept 2023


At 19h11, Wednesday, 27 September, NSRI Melkbosstrand duty crew were activated following reports of 5 teenage females in difficulty in the surf line at Melkbosstrand Beach after strong winds had caused them to appear to be unable to get back onto 2 SUPs (Stand-Up Paddle Boards) after being blown off their SUP’s despite relatively calm sea conditions.

NSRI rescue swimmers responded to the scene where it was found that 2 girls were still in the surf, beyond the breakers.

An additional 3 girls had been rescued by local Good Samaritan surfer Patrick Loram, we believe he was assisted by another surfer.

Patrick had been surfing on a longboard when he noticed the 5 teenagers being blown off their 2 SUPs and appearing unable to get back onto the SUP’s and caught in rip currents and waving a paddle board in the air appealing for help.

Patrick went to their assistance, initially getting 2 of the girls onto his board while shouting instructions to 2 of the girls to try to swim to their SUP and shouting to 1 girl to try to swim towards rocks.

Patrick brought those 2 girls safely to shore on his long-board and he then relaunched into the surf where he reached 1 girl and he brought her safely to the beach.

1 girl showed signs of hypothermia and Patrick sent her to his house to take a warm shower to warm up.

At that stage, an NSRI rescue swimmer had entered the water and he reached the remaining 2 girls. With the assistance of an NSRI pink rescue buoy, the NSRI rescue swimmer brought them safely to shore.

Patrick had also then again launched, armed with an NSRI pink rescue buoy, to go back out into the surf to assist, but by that stage the remaining 2 girls and the NSRI rescue swimmer were near to shore where the NSRI rescue swimmer, Patrick and additional NSRI crew, assisted those 2 girls safely onto the beach from shallow surf.

After the one girl was re-warmed at Patrick’s house all 5 teenagers were found to be in no further need of assistance.

NSRI believe that 2 surfers have recovered one of the SUP’s. We are appealing to the 2 surfers to bring the SUP to NSRI Melkbosstrand to be reunited with the owners.

NSRI commend Good Samaritan Patrick Loram for his rescue assistance that may well have contributed to lives being saved. NSRI believe that a second surfer, whose identity is unknown, may have also assisted during the incident.


On Wednesday, 27 September, NSRI Hermanus dispatched rescue swimmers following a request for assistance by the Overstrand Municipality to assist Municipal engineers needing to get across a flooded river to reach and repair a water pipe at a dam.

At Camphill Bridge, a crossing could not be achieved and a second site was investigated at Volmoed. There, a crossing was achieved where NSRI swift water rescue swimmers assisted in setting up a rope system using a small boat that the Municipality provided for their engineers.

After a safety system with ropes and the canoe were set up and used safely, the engineers crossed the river and went about repairs to water pipes and NSRI were released to return to base.

Hermanus assist engineers to cross flooded river September 2023


At 15h21, Wednesday, 27 September, NSRI Witsand duty crew were activated following reports of a suspected boat capsized at the anchorage area at the Breede River Mouth with persons suspected to be in the water.

NSRI Witsand rescue swimmers responded in our NSRI rescue vehicle and the NSRI JetRib rescue craft was launched.

On arrival on the scene only debris was found, suspected to be of a jetty structure broken up by floods and drifting downriver together with natural debris and flotsam, including plastic chairs and tree stumps, being swept down river.

Earlier in the day NSRI Witsand had been alerted to a boat with no person’s onboard drifting down the Breede River and no action was taken to avoid damage to NSRI rescue craft.

After the JetRib rescue craft was launched, on closer inspection it was deemed not necessary to intervene as no persons were seen to be in any difficulty and the NSRI JetRib returned to shore.

There remain no reports of anyone missing or overdue.


Just before 10h30, Monday, 25 September, NSRI Agulhas duty crew towed a rescue craft to Bredasdorp Fire Station to join emergency services and then dispatched to a farm in Greyton.

At the farm NSRI and Fire and Rescue Services assisted a family, domestic animals and farm animals were assisted to safety through flood waters.

NSRI Agulhas rescue vehicle, with a rescue craft in tow, was dispatched to Caledon Fire Station and from there dispatched to Villiersdorp where NSRI and Fire and Rescue Services assisted a family to be brought safely away from a flooded home.

NSRI Agulhas then responded to Arniston Road to assist farm workers in flooded areas.

All operations went smoothly and no injuries were reported.


At 11h51, Monday, 25 September, NSRI Gqeberha duty crew responded to a 4-year-old male suspected to have been kidnapped on a hiking trail, in Schoenmakerskop.

NSRI Gqeberha rescue crew joined the SA Police Services, including Police divers, Police K9 Search and Rescue, a Police helicopter and Police Flying Squad, EC Government Health EMS and the EMS/AMS Skymed rescue helicopter, Coastal Water Rescue and Dark Water Ops, in a search operation where the child was very quickly located and brought to be reunited with family.

It appears that he simply wandered off alone on the hiking trail and no foul play had been involved.


On Sunday, 24 September, from 15h30 onwards, 5 boats, including sailing yachts and ski-boats were assisted on Hartbeespoort Dam.

Initially, a sailing vessel capsized with 5 people onboard, they were rescued after being found holding onto the upturned hull of their boat and their yacht was righted and then towed in rough water conditions, strong winds and in excess of 1-meter swells, to the nearest land at Pecanwood. There were no injuries.

NSRI Hartbeespoort Dam and SRU (Strategic Rescue Unit) then responded to a ski boat stuck at the dam wall. That vessel was towed 7 kilometres, despite the NSRI rescue craft suffering damage after a steel wire mesh was entangled in the NSRI rescue craft propellors.

After the NSRI rescue craft motors were repaired, in darkness, a further 3 boats were assisted to safety on the dam.

Casualty vessels were towed to the nearest land mooring sites after strong winds and rough waters prevented NSRI and SRU from getting them to their original launch sites.

No injuries were reported.

NSRI advised a further 9 boats on the water to get to the nearest land sites without delay and no further assistance was required after it appeared that all boats reached land safely.

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