News / South Africa / Local News

Brian Sokutu
Senior Print Journalist
2 minute read
27 Dec 2019
6:36 am

SA’s sea rescue teams have busy Boxing Day

Brian Sokutu

Meanwhile, members of the public in Jeffreys Bay have been asked not to fire flares other than in an emergency.

There were several sea, dam, and mountain incidents on Christmas Day, according to the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI).

St Francis Bay station commander Sara Jane Smith said the NSRI duty crew was activated at about 4.20pm following multiple calls of a surfer appearing to be in difficulty and an attempt by a group of surfers to save him failed.

Smith said a rescue team, duty doctor, a private ambulance, emergency medical services, lifeguards and police responded after a local man washed on to rocks after appearing to be in difficulty.

In Hartbeespoort Dam, in the North West, NSRI crew started hunting for a missing 27-year-old, who reportedly fell off a ski-boat.

NSRI Hartbeespoort Dam station commander Arthur Crewe said: “We only located a life-jacket the man was wearing when he went overboard.”

Earlier in the day, the Hartbeespoort Dam crew had assisted after a ski-boat got trapped in hyacinth.

“Following extensive efforts, the boat was freed from the dense hyacinth and the crew was brought to safety,” he said.

Two youngsters, aged 11 and 13, nearly drowned in Jeffreys Bay.

NSRI Jeffreys Bay station commander Michael van den Bergh said: “The patients were taken to hospital in a stable but serious condition.”

Meanwhile, he asked members of the public in Jeffreys Bay not to fire flares other than in an emergency. This followed NSRI duty crew responding to an SOS at 9.43pm.

At KwaZulu-Natal’s Shelly Beach, an NSRI team launched a sea rescue craft at 10.33pm to help a crew transfer off a commercial boat suffering mechanical failure.

“During the operation, an adult male crewman went overboard and was rescued,” said NSRI Shelly Beach commander Jeremiah Jackson. In Plettenberg Bay, a man, 19, whose hand was trapped under a rock in the Robberg Nature Reserve hiking trail, was rescued.

“A crew hiked to the casualty, finding a friend had rolled the rock off the hand. The teenager, who is now in a stable condition, was treated,” said NSRI Plettenburg Bay station commander Marc Rodgers.

– brians@citizen.co.za

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