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While conducting a medical post, together with WC Government Health EMS, at the top of Chapman's Peak, on Sunday, 10 March, for the Cape Town Cycle Tour 24, we noticed a RHIB (rigid hull inflatable boat) appearing to be adrift, with 3 people onboard, below Chapman's Peak.

NSRI Hout Bay had deployed our NSRI rescue vehicle at the medical post on top of Chapman's Peak Drive, for the cycle tour, together with Metro Rescue, and our NSRI rescue quad bike was stationed at Hout Bay Beach, at a radio relay station, together with SARZA (Search and Rescue ZA), also for the cycle tour.

While monitoring the RHIB (and the cycle tour) a call came to NSRI Hout Bay, from NSRI Kommetjie, reporting that the RHIB (that we were observing) had called NSRI Kommetjie requesting assistance - they had lost motor power - 2 local males, age 17 and 20, were still on the boat while the 3rd male, age 18, was on the rocks below the Chapman 's Peak Point cliffs.

They reported that they had deployed a sea drogue but were swiftly adrift in the strong South Easterly wind that was sweeping them towards shore and they were at risk of running aground.

All eyes, at the medical post, then concentrated on the casualty RHIB and in the strong South Easterly winds it was obvious that their sea drogue was not slowing down their drifting towards the shoreline.

Our NSRI Hout Bay duty crew were activated at 14h28.

The NSRI 7.3 meter RHIB rescue craft Albie Matthews and our rescue JetRib Spirit of Gabi were launched from our NSRI Hout Bay station 8 rescue base - the NSRI quad bike had responded to our rescue base where additional duty crew were already at the base, standing by as we had planned during the cycle tour, aware that traffic and the cycle tour could hinder a response to our rescue base on the day.

On arrival on the scene the casualty RHIB was taken under tow, by the rescue craft Albie Matthews, while the rescue craft JetRib, Spirit of Gabi, initially searched along the shoreline to locate the 3rd casualty and on locating him then negotiated the sea swells and strong winds to get close enough to the rocks where we recovered the 18 year old onto our rescue craft.

The rescue craft JetRib then rendezvoused with our rescue RHIB and the 18 year old was transferred onto the rescue RHIB.

Their casualty boat was towed to Hout Bay Harbour and recovered and the 3 casualties required no further assistance.

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