The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) has issued a warning to the public to not climb aboard the BOS 400 crane barge wreck at Maori Bay, just south of Sandy Bay after a number of incidents have been reported over the past year where people were badly injured.
According to a statement by the NSRI, the latest incident was reported on Sunday, August 22, when NSRI Bakoven and NSRI Hout Bay duty crews were activated following reports of people being injured at the barge shipwreck.
“On arrival on the scene a group of people were observed on the shore on rocks above the wreck. An NSRI rescue swimmer was deployed into the water and he swam ashore where it was determined that 2 University students, aged 21 and 23, were injured after they had reportedly jumped off the crane of the BOS 400 wreck,” the statement read.
The statement further said that the two were in the care of their fellow hikers including a student nurse, first aiders and an off-duty NSRI Witsand crewman.
“Both patients were treated for serious injuries, including lacerations, abrasions, and hypothermia. WC Government Health EMS ambulance and Life Healthcare response paramedics were activated to stand-by at NSRI Hout Bay sea rescue base.”
Additional NSRI rescue swimmers were also deployed from the sea rescue craft, and both patients were transferred from the shore to the sea rescue craft and taken by private transport to a hospital for medical care.
Meanwhile, it was reported that the group of hikers believed to be mostly young students had planned a hike where some had reportedly believed that the hike would include swimming at Sandy Bay. When they arrived at the BOS 400 crane barge wreck, it apparently became evident that some in the group may have prearranged to climb aboard the wreck in order to jump off.
The concern is that the crane barge wreck is at an advanced stage of deterioration, with rusted steel on the wreck threatening to collapse including rusted steel that has fallen off the wreck and submerged in the water around the wreck, making the wreck and the surrounding water unsafe.