Simon’s Town coastwatchers near Kalk Bay were alerted to an unusual scene near Muizenberg over the weekend, where witnesses spotted a man on a paddle craft towing a second paddle craft behind him.
The man was roughly a mile off-shore, between Kalk Bay and Muizenberg and paddling in a direction towards Strandfontein, he appeared to be experiencing difficulty so NSRI teams responded.
NSRI Strandfontein crew were dispatched to look out at Muizenberg beach and at Sunrise Circle beach and the sea rescue craft Spirit of Grand West CSI was launched and a sea rescue vehicle was dispatched to search along the coastline just after 8.05am on Saturday, May 30.
“After no sign of the paddler was located the EMS/AMS Skymed rescue helicopter was activated to search the coastline between Muizenberg and Strandfontein and cover a grid search pattern up to 2 nautical miles off-shore. A WSAR (Wilderness Search and Rescue) team was also dispatched to assist with landing zones along the coastline and to assist in the search operation,” says NSRI Strandfontein station commander Vaughn Seconds.
During the aerial search both paddle boards, that were found to be sea-kayaks, were located by the Skymed rescue helicopter on the shore between Sunrise Circle beach and Strandfontein.
Both sea-kayaks were found above the high water mark on the beach and it appears that a man who came ashore on the one sea-kayak, towing the second sea-kayak, had abandoned both sea-kayaks on the beach and he had left the scene.
The NSRI sea rescue craft and the sea rescue vehicle responded to the location and both sea-kayaks were recovered and taken to the NSRI Strandfontein sea rescue station.
“Later it was determined from reports received by City of Cape Town Law Enforcement that an unidentified man may have stolen the sea-kayaks at Kalk Bay before launching them and paddling the one sea-kayak out to sea while towing the second sea-kayak behind him.
Law Enforcement are investigating and the sea-kayaks have not been claimed by the owners,” added Seconds.