A man and woman capsized on their sea-kayak on Sunday, October 11 near to Robben Island, leaving them hypothermic and clinging to their kayak for safety. Luckily, they were saved thanks to the swift reaction of two couples on a local yacht, Savanna.
It is believed the kayakers, 32-year-old male and a 29-year old-female, had launched at Three Anchor Bay at around 10am, and capsized around 3pm after their sea kayak became waterlogged.
The two couples on the yacht Savannah had finished having lunch near Robben Island and were departing to head back to port when they heard cries for help. At first, they thought that it was seagulls making the noise, but the cries for help continued.
Upon investigation, they found the two kayakers in the water hanging onto their waterlogged double sea kayak and both were exhausted and hypothermic. The two kayakers may have been in the 9°C to 10°C water for at least an hour.
They rescued the kayakers onto their yacht and the crew initiated emergency rewarming measures for hypothermia while the skipper raised the alarm and began heading the yacht towards the port of Table Bay.
At about 3.48pm on Sunday, NSRI duty controllers intercepted urgent marine VHF radio communications from the local yacht Savannah to Telkom Maritime Radio Services.
The NSRI sea rescue craft Spirit of Day was launched. ER24 ambulance services were activated to stand-by at their sea rescue station at the V&A Waterfront. Western Cape Government Health EMS Metro Control and MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre) were alerted.
The sea rescue craft rendezvoused with the yacht off-shore of the port of Table Bay. NSRI medics were transferred onto the yacht and they assisted the yacht crew to medically stabilise the man and woman.
The sea kayak, which was being towed by the yacht, was taken onboard the sea rescue craft.
The two were brought to the NSRI Table Bay sea rescue station onboard the yacht and they have been transported to hospital by ER24 ambulance for further medical care and they are both in stable conditions.
The skipper and crew of yacht Savannah are commended for their swift actions that contributed to saving the lives of the couple and for displaying master seamanship during this urgent emergency operation.