NSRI caution following ongoing SA Weather Service weather notices and Thursday incidents in Knysna, and Mossel Bay

With a second of three cold fronts forecast by the SA Weather Service to land along the Western Cape coastline late on Friday and into Saturday and with the first of these three cold fronts that have now moved further along the Western Cape coastline towards the Eastern Cape coastline the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) is appealing for public caution with high, rough seas and gale-force winds being experienced along the coastal regions of South Africa lasting into Monday and possibly into Tuesday.

NSRI responded to three incidents related to the severe weather during Thursday in Knysna, Millers Point and Mossel Bay.

A third large cold front forecast for Monday is currently being monitored by the SA Weather Service (SAWS).

There is a concern that the lulls being experienced in between these cold fronts may give a false impression of improving conditions.

Localised flooding, storm surges, gale-force winds and high seas are some of the winter weather phenomena currently being experienced from these cold fronts.

Gale force winds and high seas are being experienced along the coast and the forecast cold fronts may result in damage to infrastructure and beach erosion. Disruption to Port and small harbour activities can be expected.

“With storms and high seas along coastal regions, our concern is for smaller vessels at sea which may have difficulty navigating through the conditions.

“We are also appealing to boaters, paddlers, beachgoers, surfers, coastal hikers, anglers and the public to be cautious around the coastline and to follow South African Weather Service (SAWS) forecasts,” said NSRI CEO, Dr Cleeve Robertson, on Friday. 

“We urge beachgoers and coastal hikers to stay away from the coastline, as dangerous waves or surges may catch them off-guard and could potentially sweep them off the rocks along the shoreline,” added Robertson. 

Seagoing craft are encouraged to download the free NSRI RSA SafeTrax app – https://www.nsri.org.za/safetrx/

NSRI RSA Safetrx contributed to the successful rescue of a surf skier off-shore of Millers Point on Thursday.

NSRI RSA SafeTrx app includes a number of new features for small craft users:

    • An Emergency Call button which allows you to quickly make a distress call from the application
    • Share your real-time track with family and friends during your trip
    • Build and maintain your own safety pre-launch checklist
    • Choose an alert individual emergency contact for each trip
    • Automatically initiates a search process should you not close your trip before your chosen ETA

SEA RESCUE EMERGENCY: 112 or 087 094 9774


Marc van Staden, NSRI Knysna duty coxswain, said:

At 12h12, Thursday, July, 9, NSRI Knysna duty crew were activated following eye-witness reports of 2 men on a small dinghy appearing to be in difficulty on Knysna Lagoon.

Our sea rescue craft Jaytee IV and Jolen were launched and on arrival on the scene, we found both men safe on their small dinghy.

They were attempting to row towards the shore but in the strong gusting winds they had drifted onto a sandbank on the lagoon where we found them and although they weren’t in any danger they needed assistance to get to shore.

A towline was rigged from our sea rescue craft and we towed them to Belvedere without incident and once safely ashore no further assistance was required.


Andre Fraser, NSRI Mossel Bay station commander, said:

At 14h05, Thursday, 9 July, NSRI Mossel Bay duty crew were activated following reports from a member of Garden Route Scuba reporting that he was witnessing a local yacht that had broken away from her mooring off-shore of Santos Beach.

The small unmanned yacht was drifting in strong gusting winds towards the Dollosse at Quay 4, Mossel Bay harbour, and fears were she would be smashed against the Dollosse.

NSRI Mossel Bay duty crew responded to our NSRI sea rescue station and the sea rescue craft St Blaze Rescuer was launched.

The owner of the yacht, from George, was contacted.

On arrival on the scene, it was found that the keel of the yacht had snagged on the rope that demarcates the channel zone of the launching slipways and the rope prevented the yacht from drifting onto the Dollosse.

A towline was rigged from our sea rescue craft and without incident, we towed the yacht into the harbour where she was moored safely and no further assistance was required.

The owner of the yacht will make arrangements when the weather subsides to get her back to her mooring off-shore of Santos beach.

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