At around 8:00am on Saturday morning, March 27, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) was called into action when a boat with two fishermen on board capsized while fishing on the Vlakbank, about 5 nautical miles East of Struisbaai.
According to a statement by the NSRI, the fishermen were out on the water when a surprise wave suddenly swept over them, capsizing their 5 metre RHIB (rigid hull inflatable boat). Fortunately, they managed to reach the boat and fired off 3 red distress flares.
The red distress flares were sighted from land by eye-witnesses and also by the fishing chuckie (small open fishing boat), called ‘Bennie’, that was also fishing in the same area at the time.
Once the distress flares had been spotted, the eye-witnesses and the crew of Bennie quickly raised the alarm to alert Sea Rescue of the situation. The crew of Bennie also went to aid the capsized craft and two fishermen.
Once the alarm had been raised NSRI Agulhas duty crew launched the sea rescue craft ‘Spirit of Agulhas’ to rendezvoused with Bennie, about four nautical miles off-shore. Thankfully, the crew of Bennie had rescued both men onto their fishing boat.
“The 2 casualty men, aged 56 and 45, were transferred onto the sea rescue craft and they were brought to the NSRI Agulhas sea rescue base where they were medically assessed and they were not injured and no further assistance was required,” NSRI explained in a statement.
NSRI commend the crew of Bennie who assisted on the scene and the eye-witnessed who raised the alarm.