It was again a busy weekend for mountain and sea rescue teams which responded to a number of incidents.
At least two drownings were reported including a teenager at Muizenberg beach and in another sea rescue operation, 24 crew members had to abandon a fisher trawler ship after it drifted hard onto rocks in the low tide at Shark Point in St Francis Bay.
Regarding the Muizenberg drowning, NSRI spokesperson, Craig Lambinon, said they received a call from the City’s control room just before 10am on Saturday about a drowning in progress.
The teenager was reportedly 16 years old from Makhaza.
“It appears that a British man, Archie Moberly, was surfing at Muizenberg and after catching a wave and reaching the shallows, some children asked him to help their two male friends who were further out in the surf line. Archie paddled towards them where they called out to him to help them, they were separated in the surf zone.
“Archie rescued a child, believed to be aged 12 or 13, onto his longboard and that child indicated to him where his teenage friend could be seen in distress in the surf zone. Archie left the child safe on his longboard and then swam towards the teenager who then disappeared underwater...(he) searched for the teenager but after finding no further sign of the teenager Archie retreated towards the beach, with the rescued child, where closer to the beach a lady helped him to get the child to the shore,” said Lambinon.
On arrival on the scene an air, sea and shoreline search, for the missing teen was launched. He was spotted submerged under water, in the surf zone, from the EMS/AMS Skymed rescue helicopter.
“A Lifesaving South Africa (LSA) rescue swimmer was deployed from the Skymed rescue helicopter, into the surf zone, where the rescue swimmer reached and recovered the teenager from underwater and he was joined on the scene, in the surf line, by City lifeguards using Malibu rescue boards,” said Lambinon.
Paramedics performed Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) but after extensive efforts the boy was declared dead.
At around 10.36pm Saturday in St Francis Bay, duty crew were activated following a call to NSRI Emergency Operations Centre reporting a local 29-metre stern trawler fishing vessel, with 24 crew onboard, running aground at Shark Point.
Lambinon said the crew abandoned their vessel safely into two life rafts that were launched on the stern of the casualty vessel.
“The owners are appointing salvors to assist in the recovery of their casualty fishing vessel...We are appealing to public members not to approach the stricken vessel as it remains a danger particularly in the changing tides,” said Lambinon.
Meanwhile, the Wilderness Search and Rescue (WSAR), said teams of rescuers responded to the Helderberg Nature Reserve late on Thursday evening after a hiker was reported overdue.
WSAR spokesperson, David Nel, said: “One of the first search teams to arrive on scene were Sage, an 11-year-old German Shorthaired Pointer and her handler from K9 Search and Rescue Association of South Africa ... Within minutes of starting out in the dark, K9 Sage successfully located the missing hiker. Unfortunately, the hiker was found deceased. The incident was concluded shortly before 2am.”