Durban - Police were chasing two men suspected to have committed a crime when the pair got in trouble in the Umtamvuna River in Port Edward.
After a rescue was mounted, one of the men was saved while the other could not be found and is presumed to have drowned, said the NSRI.
John Nicholas, NSRI Port Edward station commander, said their duty crew was activated at about 5.20 on Wednesday morning after receiving reports that two men were in difficulty in the river.
He said Medivac ambulance services and Police Search and Rescue were also activated to join the SAPS.
“We towed our sea rescue craft the Discovery Rescue Runner, which we launched on the scene at the Pont launch site.”
Nicholas said one man had already been rescued when they arrived. An extensive search for the second man was in vain and he was suspected to have drowned.
Police Search and Rescue were continuing the search.
The rescued man was not injured and was taken into custody by police.
At Richards Bay, the NSRI duty crew launched the rescue craft Spirit of Richards Bay, accompanied by a Meditrax rescue paramedic, following a request for assistance from the bulk carrier MV Danjin, which was anchored off Richards Bay. It reported that a 23-year- old Filipino crewman on board had suffered an amputated finger onboard.
Amid rough seas, the patient, “walking wounded”, was transferred to the sea rescue craft.
“The index finger of the left hand was redressed and we brought him to our base. He has been transported to hospital by Meditrax ambulance in a stable condition,” said Jacques Kruger, NSRI Richards Bay duty coxswain.