The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) is appealing to the public to be safe leading up to and into the new year. This safety alert comes after multiple incidents were attended to by NSRI stations around the coast and on inland waters on Boxing Day, December 26.
“Fishermen, coastline rock anglers and hikers, are urged to take heed of the increasing spring tides as we move closer to this month’s full moon Spring tide that peaks on December 30, and we appeal for caution around the coastline,” the NSRI said. “We are appealing to bathers to only swim at beaches protected by lifeguards and swim in between the lifeguards safe swimming zone flags posted by the lifeguards on the beach. Lifeguards regularly move their flags when rip currents form and we are appealing to the public to obey the lifeguards instructions to only swim in between their flags. Families visiting the beach should approach the lifeguards if they are separated from family members or if they need assistance. Boaters, paddlers and sail boarders are urged to wear properly fitting and fastened life-jackets while your craft is underway.”
Boaters, paddlers and sailors are urged to download and use the NSRI RSA SafeTrx cellphone app and have safety equipment and an emergency plan in place.
“We are appealing to parents to make sure that there is a designated responsible person watching over children in and around water, at coastal and inland waters and at swimming pools,” it added. “NSRI has developed a safety monitor ID tag to be worn by the responsible person overseeing children when they are swimming.”
The following incidents took place on Boxing Day:
At 07.53 am, the NSRI Kleinmond duty crew was activated following multiple eye-witness reports of a boat capsized 300 meters off-shore of Betty’s Bay. The sea rescue craft Jaytee III and jet-rib Rescue 42 Alpha were launched, as well its sea rescue vehicle. The South African Police Service also responded.
“When our sea rescue vehicle arrived on the scene a local RHIB (rigid hull inflatable boat), skippered by local fisherman Casper Strydom, had rescued all 4 male casualties who had been hanging onto the upturned hull of their 6 meter capsized boat for about 20 minutes after she capsized,” the NSRI said. “The four male casualties were brought into the Kleinmond harbour where our NSRI doctor was standing-by to medically check on the 4 men and they were not injured and they refused further assistance.”
The casualty boat sunk despite efforts to try to recover it.
At 08.26 am, the NSRI Mossel Bay duty crew was activated following reports of a boat capsized East of Mossel Bay Point approximately two nautical miles off-shore.
“The sea rescue craft St Blaize Rescuer was launched and on arrival on the scene five men, a skipper and one man from Mossel Bay, and three men from the Free State, were assisted by the crew on local boats and then taken onboard our sea rescue craft and they were brought to our sea rescue base where WC Government Health EMS paramedics and By Grace ambulance services paramedics medically checked on them and they were not injured and they required no further assistance,” the NSRI said.
“Our sea rescue craft returned to the capsized boat which was righted at sea and towed to Mossel Bay harbour where it was recovered and no further assistance was required. It appears that their boat was taking water before it capsized.”