Wednesday, 26 December 2012



At 03h00 on Christmas Day, 25 December 2012, NSRI Mykonos volunteers were called out following a call for assistance from a 58 year old local Paternoster man who was alone in a Crayfish bakkie (small boat) and lost in thick mist off Paternoster.

Mykonos station commander Gerard Brune said that the duty crew towed a rescue runner, TNPA Rescuer One, and 5,5 metre rescue boat, Gemini Rescuer II, to Paternoster and launched at first light.

At 08h30 the man was found by the NSRI volunteers safely in his boat two miles off Paternoster. The mist was starting to lift as the rescue craft escorted him back to Paternoster.

The Mykonos duty crew was busy washing down the two rescue craft at their base when, at 11h00, they were approached by the family of a 55 year old Paradise Beach resident who said that his jet ski had mechanical failure one mile off Paradise Beach.

The NSRI volunteers again launched TNPA Rescuer One and responded to the scene 1,5 nautical miles north of the Mykonos Rescue base. The man’s jet ski could not be restarted and he was safely towed to shore by TNPA Rescuer One.

At 17h30 the NSRI Mykonos volunteers were called out for the third time, this time for a kite surfer who’s family reported him to be in difficulty off Lientjies Klip caravan Park. TNPA Rescuer One was launched and the kite quickly located but the kite surfer was not with it. Because of the wind conditions searching was difficult, but luckily a holiday maker at the caravan site could see the man swimming for shore and was able to guide the rescue craft to him. The 36 year old Tableview man was in good spirits when he was rescued about 500 metres from the shore and did not need any further assistance.


At 07h45 volunteers from NSRI Table Bay launched the Spirit of Vodacom to evacuate a 49 year old French sailor from the oil tanker Maria which rescued him after his yacht sank off Luderitz.

The Captain of the Maria was directed to the position of the yacht Yumapi by Cape Town’s Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC) after the sailor was forced to abandon his yacht when it sank after hitting a submerged container 400 miles west of Luderitz.

He had activated his emergency PLB ( Personal Locator Beacon) on 22 December and was in a life raft for 18 hours before the 274 metre oil tanker got to him. The duty crew from the Table Bay Sea Rescue base went along side the tanker 12 miles off Cape Town in calm conditions this morning at 08h30 and brought the sailor back to Table Bay. He has been handed into the care of immigration officials.


At 12h00 today NSRI volunteers from St Francis Bay were called out to help fight a fire that broke out in a thatched roof house at no 5 Canal road on Sr Francis Bay’s canals.

St Francis Bay firemen and local disaster management were on scene in minutes and battled the fierce blaze but the house could not be saved. According to Marc May, St Francis Bay NSRI station commander, because the fire fighting teams doused the roofs of neighboring houses, and pulled thatch that was burning out, they managed to save five houses and the fire was prevented from spreading further. Three of the St Francis Bay volunteers sustained burns while fighting the fire. They have been treated and released by the 24/7 private Ambulance service.

At 17h30 St Francis Bay NSRI volunteers were asked to take two SAPS officers to a chokka boat off Oyster Bay where a crewman was threatening fellow crew with a knife. The St Francis Bay volunteers launched Spirit of St Francis II and took two SAPS officers to the Oresta, 1,5 miles off Thys Point, where the SAPS men detained a 32 year old crewman. He was taken back to the St Francis Bay Sea Rescue base on board the rescue boat and is now in the care of the SAPS.


At 14h30 Port St Johns Sea Rescue volunteers were called to Second Beach Port St Johns for a shark attack.

According to John Costello, station commander at NSRI station 28A, Port St Johns, Lifesavers tried to clear the water when a shark fin was seen close to hundreds of people who were in the water at the time.

The lifesavers were unable to get everyone out of the water fast enough and an African male was bitten. His body has not been retrieved and he has not been identified.

Sea Rescue has no further information.


At 16h40 NSRI Wilderness volunteers were called out for a 14 year old boy caught in a rip current at Wilderness.

According to Wilderness Duty Coxswain, Garth Dominy, three Lifesavers swam out to the boy and swam him to the safe zone behind the wave back line where they waited for the Sea Rescue boat between Wilderness main beach and Leentjies Klip.

The Wilderness duty crew, who were at the station at the time, launched their 4,2 metre rescue boat Serendipity and brought the boy, who is on holiday from Limpopo, safely back to the beach.

Netcare 911, ER24 and the local METRO ambulance service also responded. The child has been transported to George provincial hospital in a stable condition where he will be observed for secondary drowning.


At 17h34 NSRI Bakoven and NSRI Table Bay volunteers were called to Three Anchor Bay for a six year old girl who was washed off the rocks close to Three Anchor Bay Beach.

The rescue boats Rotarian Schipper (from Bakoven) and Rotary Endeavor (from Table Bay) were launched to search for the girl. Rescue divers from Roeland Street Fire Department the WC Government Health EMS AMS rescue helicopter Skymed as well as SAPS divers METRO divers, Law enforcement and traffic officials also responded.

According to Bakoven NSRI station commander, Bruce Davidson, witnesses saw the child being washed off the rocks. The SAPS, METRO and Fire and Rescue Divers as well as NSRI swimmers searched until 20h40. The search was called off in fading light and has been handed over to the SAPS who will resume searching at 07h30 tomorrow (Tuesday 26 December).


Released by:

Andrew Ingram
Sea Rescue Communications

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