Southern Cape NSRI experience a busy season


At 13h53NSRIMosselBayvolunteer sea rescue duty crew were called out by the Transnet National Ports Authority following reports of a collision between two boats 300 meters offDiasBeach,MosselBay.

Our duty crew launched VODACOM RESCUER II and our NSRI rescue vehicle, Mossel Bay Fire and Rescue Services, the SA Police Services and a Police boat, Metro EMS and ER 24 ambulance services responded

On arrival we found that a 9 meter (10 seater) commercial charter boat, WAVE RIDER, with 8 to 10 people on board, had collided with a 4 meter pencil duck (a small rubber-duck) with 2 men on board throwing the one man, from the pencil duck, into the water and injuring the skipper of the pencil duck, who managed to remain on board. One side pontoon and the nose pontoon on the pencil duck burst.

A police Port of Entry Security boat, which arrived on-scene first, rescued the 17 year old pencil duck crewman, Leon du Plessis, from the water and on the arrival of our sea rescue craft our NSRI medics attended to the the 19 year old skipper of the pencil duck, Marcell van Heerden who was on WAVE RIDER after he had been transferred onto the WAVE RIDER from his own boat after the collision.

Both teenagers are from Alberton. Both were treated for suspected spinal injuries and both were secured to spinal back boards and full spinal immobilization was applied by our NSRI medics as a precaution before they were brought to our sea rescue station, 1 onboard our NSRI craft and 1 onboard the Police boat. Both men have been transported to hospital in stable conditions by ambulances for further treatment.

None of the people on WAVE RIDER were injured and the local skipper of WAVE RIDER, Colin Edwards, brought his passengers back to the harbour.

Police and SAMSA (The South African Maritime Safety Authority) will investigate the accident.

Following Media Enquiries: NSRI have not attempted to determine if both boats were underway at the time of the collision or if the larger boat collided with the smaller boat or if the smaller boat collided with the larger boat. These questions will be raised in a formal investigation by Police and by SAMSA.

The skipper of the pencil duck, Marcell van Heerden, has also suffered a fractured arm in the collision and doctors will operate to set the fracture.


Hennie Niehaus, NSRI Wilderness station commander, said:

At 11h16 on Sunday, 25th December NSRI Wilderness volunteers were activated following reports of two children, a boy and girl, both aged approximately 13, being swept out to sea at Victoria Bay.

Lifeguards, on duty at the beach, responded and NSRI activated our sea rescue craft SERENDIPITY and our DISCOVERY rescue runner.The SA Police Services, Metro EMS and the Metro EMS Skymed helicopter were activated.

On arrival we found that lifeguards had rescued both patients from the water. The boy had sunk beneath the sea surface when lifeguards had  reached him but the lifeguards had managed to successfully rescue both children bringing them to shore and treatment was administered on-scene by Metro EMS paramedics before both were airlifted by the Metro EMS Skymed helicopter to hospital. The girl was in a stable condition and the boy in a stable but serious condition and resuscitation efforts were continued in the helicopter on the male en route to hospital.

It was not clear at the time where the children are from.

WILDERNESS 26 Dec 2011

At 15h30 NSRI Wilderness volunteers were called out following reports of a child drowning at Wilderness.

On arrival it was found that lifeguards had rescued the child from the surf and were treating the child for near drowning symptoms and a Metro EMS ambulance has transported the child to hospital in a serious but stable condition.

Then at 16h55 NSRI Wilderness responded to Kleinkrans where a woman was reportedly swept out to sea.

She had washed out onto the beach where an off-duty paramedic dragged her out of the water and initiated CPR (Cardio Pulmonary resuscitation) efforts.

NSRI medics and Metro EMS paramedics continued with CPR and a pulse and breathing was successfully restored before the 27 year old woman, from George, has been airlifted to hospital by the Metro EMS Skymed helicopter in a critical condition.



At 11h20 NSRI Wilderness volunteers were called out following reports of one or two anglers swept off rocks at Voelklip, 3 kilometers fromHeroldsBay, near to George.

Our Wilderness duty crew launched SERENDIPITY and duty lifeguards atHeroldsBayBeachalso responded.

MetroEMS, the Metro EMS Skymed helicopter, George Fire and Rescue Services and ER24 ambulance services all responded.

While it was initially suspected that perhaps two people had been swept into the water on arriving on-scene it was confirmed that it was one man, fromJohannesburg, that had been swept off rocks by a wave while angling.

On arrival lifeguards swam out to the man who was found lifeless in the water and the lifeguards held onto the man behind the breaker line until the Metro EMS Skymed helicopter arrived and a rescue swimmer was deployed into the water from the Skymed helicopter to assist the lifeguards.

Together the three rescuers commenced artificial breathing resuscitation efforts on the man, still in the water and behind the breaker line until the NSRI sea rescue boat arrived. The man was loaded onto the sea rescue boat where full Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) efforts commenced and the man was brought to the beach where paramedics continued with CPR. He was transported to hospital by Mertro EMS ambulance while CPR continued in the ambulance.

At hospital doctors continued with CPR but after all extensive efforts to resuscitate him were exhausted he was declared dead by doctors.

Police have opened an inquest docket and the man details, including his age, are being gathered by Police.

During the rescue operation the mans sister arrived on-scene and Police trauma counsellors are assisting her.



At 08h34 on Sunday, 01 January NSRI Mossel Bay duty crew were called out following reports of a drowning in progress at Souweisa Beach, between the Klein Brak River and the Great Brak River.

Our duty crew towed VODACOM RESCUER IV which was launched on-scene and Metro EMS, the SA Police Force, Mossel Bay Fire and Rescue Services, the Metro EMS Skymed helicopter and ER24 ambulance service responded to the scene.

On arrival an extensive air, sea and shore search commenced but no sign of the missing 28 year old man, who is presumed to have drowned, has been found and Police Divers have been summoned to the scene to continue with an ongoing search.

Police have opened an inquest docket and the name of the man has not been released. It is not yet clear where the man is from and Police are following up on further details.

PlettenbergBay:  Wednesday, 04th JANUARY, 2012

At 15h38NSRIPlettenbergBayvolunteer sea rescue duty crew were called out for 4 people being swept out to sea atNaturesValley, near to the Groot River Mouth.

PlettenbergBayvolunteers launched their sea rescue craft AIRLINK RESCUER and their DISCOVERY rescue runner. Police and Metro EMS also responded.

On arrival on-scene it was confirmed by lifeguards that three men, in their early twenties, fromStrand, had managed to get out of the water after getting into difficulty in strong rip-currents. The fourth man, their friend, a 22 year old fromStrand, had disappeared under water.

An extensive search is ongoing and the Metro EMS Skymed helicopter has joined in the search but no sign of the missing man has been found and the Police Dive Unit have been informed.

Police have opened an inquest docket.

While rescuers were on the scene a further three people were helped out of the water in the same area in separate incidents after getting into difficulties and lifeguards are cautioning bathers not to swim at the beach at Natures Valley.

The Metro EMS Skymed helicopter had earlier assisted atNoetzieBeach, near Knysna, where a British man and his two children had been rescued by lifeguards, after reportedly being swept out to sea, before being transported to hospital. NSRI believe they were in stable conditions. NSRI have no further details on that incident.

Knysna:  Friday, 06 January, 2012

At 19h20 NSRI Knysna duty crew were called out for a woman injured by a dog on the Knysna Jetty, near to the Knysna Yacht Club.

NSRI Knysna volunteer sea rescue duty crew responded to the scene where they found the woman, in her early 50?s, with a fractured leg and a suspected dislocated shoulder. NSRI Knysna medics treated her on-scene before transporting her to hospital in a serious but stable condition. NSRI Knysna station commander, Graeme Harding, said that it was a large dog that had knocked the lady over on the jetty.

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