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Rain, gale-force winds for Cape

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INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

A homeless woman feeds pigeons under a bridge in the chilly weather. Photo: Jason Boud

By Murray Williams, Dylan Oktober and Chelsea Geach

Cape Town - Police dive teams are still searching by boat for the missing Capetonian who was washed from Hermanus’s New Harbour wall on Sunday, while a second man remains lost at sea further up the coast.

As the searches continue, the Cape Town Weather Office has predicted another turn in the weather on Wednesday – with “gale-force westerly wind 65-75km/h expected in places between Cape Agulhas and Plettenberg Bay” during Thursday, matched with “high seas with wave heights between 6m to 7.5m expected between Cape Columbine and Plettenberg Bay”.

The maximum temperature across the province is not expected to rise above the mid-teens with 60 percent chance of moderate rainfall.

The rain is likely to bring fresh misery for more than 20 000 people who were affected by the weekend’s deluge, which left homes flooded.

Mayor Patricia de Lille said more than 5 000 households received aid from the city’s disaster risk management team. Working through the weekend and on Monday’s public holiday, the team handed out 15 792 blankets and 20 044 meals. It also supplied 177 baby packs and 712 flood kits.

The expected high seas came after NSRI East London volunteer sea rescue duty crew were placed on alert by the Transnet National Ports Authority reporting the 245m oil tanker Alpine Amalia, sailing from Singapore to Angola, to be searching for a crewman fallen overboard, deep sea off-shore of Port Alfred, and reporting an additional two crewmen to be injured aboard reportedly from falls.

“It appears that in storm sea swells a crewman, a 47-year-old Filipino was washed overboard and an additional two crewmen were injured,” reported Geoff McGregor, NSRI East London station commander.

“After the ship could find no sign of the crewman lost overboard, despite an extensive search, the ship headed towards East London and at 6pm (on Monday) NSRI East London launched the sea rescue craft Spirit of Lotto accompanied by an NSRI crewman who is also an EMS rescue paramedic and accompanied by Dynamic ambulance services paramedics.

“We rendezvoused with the ship five nautical miles off-shore of East London, in 24-knot westerly winds and a 3.5m swell, and paramedics and rescue crew were transferred aboard the ship, where they treated the chief officer for a serious back injury and an able seaman for a dislocated wrist, a dislocated shoulder and a knee injury. Both men are from the Philippines and are both believed to be in their forties,” McGregor reported.

“Both men were medically stabilised before being lowered on to our sea-rescue craft secured into stretchers and paramedics continued medical treatment to both patients.”

Meanwhile, the search continues for the 68-year-old man from Parow who was swept out to sea off Hermanus on Sunday.

The man and his 43-year-old friend, who had been standing in front of the beach club next to the New Harbour, were swept off the rocks by a wave.

The younger man swam to safety.

National Sea Rescue Institute NSRI spokesman Craig Lambinon said police had not yet released the name of the missing man while efforts were being made to locate his family.

The NSRI has appealed to people to take extreme caution.

Cape Argus


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