The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) was called out to assist in a mass casualty evacuation of passengers from a restaurant barge that got stuck in hyacinth on the Hartbeespoort Dam on Saturday, 21 January 2023.
The NSRI Hartbeespoort Dam duty crew rescued and safely evacuated 72 passengers and 10 crew members from the barge using two rescue crafts. All 82 passengers on board were secured into life jackets, hydrated and briefed before being safely transported back to shore.
The Captain and his nine crew members maintained a high level of safety protocol before and throughout the rescue mission.
NSRI commended the Captain and crew members in a statement saying, “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.”
The rescue mission was a success with no injuries reported and the barge was safely towed back to shore once the hyacinth had separated sufficiently.
Picture: National Sea Rescue Institute