NSRI in Western Cape kept busy over Easter weekend
Cape Town - The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) was kept busy during the Easter weekend as it responded to various incidents of drownings, struggling boats and false alarms.
NSRI spokesperson Craig Lambinon said that on Friday, Kleinmond duty crew were activated following reports of a drowning in progress at Rooi Els, where witnesses reported “two males in the water with a floatation tube” and said they had been in difficulty for over 45 minutes.
Lambinon said NSRI Kleinmond dispatched rescue swimmers and NSRI Gordons Bay duty crew were activated and launched the sea rescue craft Spirit of Surfski.
"While responding to the scene it was confirmed that a private boat with three local men on board had launched to go to the assistance of the two casualties,” he said.
NSRI Kleinmond duty coxswain, Tania Meiring, said William Boltmann, 36, who has a holiday house in Rooi Els, his brother Richard, 32, and their friend Francois Koekemoer, 46, were preparing to go crayfishing on their 5m rigid hull inflatable boat when they were informed by an NSRI coastwatcher of two men, age 27 and 19, who had been swept off rocks while crayfishing and they were being swept out to sea.
Meiring said a floatation tube had been thrown to them by friends on the shore and they were holding on to the floatation tube, but they were unable to recover themselves on to rocks because of heavy seas.
Meiring said they launched their RHIB (rigid hull inflatable boat) and took the NSRI pink rescue buoy, which was at the Rooi Els slipway, with them.
"William then swam the rescue buoy to the second casualty and he was also pulled on to the boat and rescued."
She said the NSRI rescue swimmers arrived on the scene, but by that stage both casualties were safe on the RHIB and they were brought to the slipway where they were taken into the care of GB Med Sec paramedics.
In another incident on Friday, NSRI Gordons Bay station commander, Alan Meiklejohn, said the Gordons Bay duty crew were activated to assist four men from Wellington on a “Kree Bakkie” (small open fishing boat) reporting engine failure off-shore of Rooi Els.
On Saturday, the Gordons Bay duty crew were activated following reports from an NSRI coastwatcher of a capsized boat witnessed adrift off-shore of Maas Baai, Hangklip.
Meiklejohn said an off-duty NSRI Gordons Bay crewman who was fishing in the area on a sea kayak paddled out to the capsized boat and was able to find a boat name and registration number.