Affectionately known as ‘Harties’, Hartbeespoort Dam is a playground for water-sport lovers, which means the rescue crew are kept busy. The Station 25 crew have been called out for drownings, suicide calls, vehicles driving into the dam, high angle rescues, boat and water sport rescues, and even animal rescues.
Current station commander Arthur Crewe is in his element, as rescue work has always been in his blood. “I grew up on the dam, so it came naturally to me. I’ve been in the medical, rescue and law enforcement industries my whole life, and have my own ambulance and rescue training company,” he says. Response times have improved dramatically – from hours to minutes – during his tenure (starting 2019).
Although there have been many memorable rescues executed by the Harties crew, one gut-wrenching one stands out for Arthur. “It involved an 11-year-old girl,” he says. “She fell off her father’s boat and, without realising where she was, he rode over her. Her left arm was amputated by the propeller. We were on the scene within three to four minutes, stabilised her and requested a helicopter to airlift her to hospital. I know we saved her life.”
Currently, Station 25 – which won the Best RIB station award for 2021 – has a crew of eight.
Volunteer At This Station
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.
The crew protecting this water sport paradise will be celebrating 20 years of service this year.
At 14h42, Sunday, 18 June, NSRI Hartbeespoort Dam, SRU (Strategic Rescue Unit) and the SA Police Services responded to the Crocodile River, between the Lion Park and Hartbeespoort Dam, following reports of an accident involving canoes on the river with multiple casualties.
At 10h40, Saturday, 22 April, NSRI Hartbeespoort Dam received a distress call reporting a child drowning in progress in a residential swimming pool in Schoemansville. Our NSRI Hartbeespoort Dam rescue swimmers and our NSRI medics, who were nearby at the time, immediately responded to the scene while the duty crew were activated.
In a technical high-angle rescue and technical swift water rescue operation a female found critically injured at the Hartbeespoort Dam wall was extricated before being transported to the hospital in a serious but stable condition.
Four NSRI stations joined the City of Johannesburg’s rescue efforts after a flash flood swept away a group of 30 worshippers in early December.
The Captain and crew of the Hartbeespoort Dam cruise barge The Alba, of Harties Boat Company, are commended for their efforts to ensure the health and safety of their passengers after their cruise barge became disabled when the motor propellers fouled in old discarded fishing nets and in natural debris before being surrounded and trapped by 1.2 to 1.4 meter high Hyacinth that surrounded the barge in natural drift while they were repairing the motors.
At 05h45, Friday, 9 December, NSRI Hartbeespoort Dam duty crew and SRU (Strategic Response Unit) were activated following reports of a vehicle semi-submerged in the Hartbeespoort Dam, near to the Dam wall.
A Search, rescue and recovery operation is continuing on the Jukskei River, in the Sandton vicinity, where at least 18 people, part of a group from various churches who were taking part at a baptism, may have been swept away in flash floods.