Two paddlers recovered after their canoe turned over while they were exiting the Durban port channel in rough conditions on Thursday. Picture: Archive

NSRI and other services responded to reports that two paddlers had fallen out of their canoe at the exit to the Durban harbour on Thursday and were in trouble in windy and difficult conditions.

However, unknown to the responders, the intrepid paddlers had managed to right their canoe and headed off in the direction of Umhlanga.

NSRI Durban station commander, Clifford Ireland, said: “At 11.40am, NSRI Durban were activated by the Transnet National Ports Authority following reports from TNPA security.” 

The security at the end of the North Breakwater reported having seen two paddlers exiting the Port of Durban channel and falling out of their canoe. They were being blown out of the harbour entrance in south westerly wind of about 35 to 40 knots.

“The Port Authority tasked two of the offshore supply vessels, Hamba Landa and Transporter, to assist in a search. NSRI requested the immediate assistance of the lifeguards who provided two 4m rubber ducks and beach searching vehicles.”

He said the SAPS waterwing also assisted in the search with their vessel.

NSRI Durban launched the sea rescue craft Eikos Rescuer II and  Megan II and a full search operation began.

“During the search lifeguards made contact with two paddlers at Umhlanga and following discussions with the paddlers it appeared that these were the same paddlers who had reportedly had some difficulty at the harbour entrance earlier, but were then able to  get back onto their canoe and continue on a downwind paddle to Umhlanga and were now safe.”

He said the search was called off, resources were released and they returned to base.