Man missing overboard

Man missing overboard off fishing vessel activates NSRI St Francis Bay

NSRI St Francis Bay duty crew were activated by the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) early yesterday morning following reports to NSRI Port Elizabeth of a man suspected to be overboard the fishing vessel Maryke.

It appears that the alarm had been raised at 05h00 by the skipper after crew noticed the adult fisherman, believed to be from Humansdorp, missing off the boat off-shore of Aasvogelspunt, 30 nautical miles South East of St Francis Bay.

Maryke and 3 other fishing vessels had reportedly begun a search.

The sea rescue craft Spirit of St Francis II was launched and on arrival on the scene joined in a search and assisted in sweeping line search patterns and just after 08h00 an SA Air Force 15 Squadron Charlie Flight helicopter, with 2 NSRI Port Elizabeth rescue swimmers aboard, joined the search operation and NSRI St Francis Bay crew and SA National Park rangers searched along the shoreline.

Despite an extensive air, sea and shoreline search operation no sign of the missing fisherman has been found and Police have taken over an ongoing search operation and investigation into the incident.

As of this morning the man is still missing in spite of the extensive search effort and SA Police have taken over the search from NSRI..


Bathers Saved off Ann Avenue

Bathers Saved off Ann Avenue but one man missing

The  NSRI St Francis Bay duty crew were activated shortly after midday yesterday afternoon following reports of multiple people in difficulty in the surf off Anne Avenue Beach.

The sea rescue craft Spirit of St Francis II was launched and NSRI rescue swimmers raced to the beach to join four  Kouga Municipal lifeguards, three of the volunteer  lifeguards and two local surfers who were in the surf attempting to rescue nine bathers who had been swept out to sea by rip currents.

The NSRI rescue swimmers swam out to the lifeguards who confirmed that they had eight of bathers in a group and along with one of the surfers were assisting casualties to the the beach. The NSRI rescue swimmers then swam to a surfer who was helping one casualty and the surfer was able to get that casualty to the shore.

Once all nine bathers were safely brought to the beach where the were checked by paramedics from Private Care ambulance services and required no further medical care.

It was then confirmed that one person remained unaccounted for, a local 28 year old man, and the NSRI sea rescue craft, a Private fixed wing aircraft, a Police helicopter and a K-9 Search and Rescue team and a Police Dive Unit joined in the ongoing search operation but despite an extensive search no sign of the missing man has been found.

Police will continue an ongoing search and recovery operation and Police have opened an investigation.

NSRI commend the lifeguards and the two surfers who rescued the bather from the water and NSRI thank the private plane that assisted in the ongoing search for the missing man.

NOTE: Bathers should be cautious when swimming off Ann Avenue as it is not patrolled by lifeguards

NSRI St Francis Bay

Dining at Dune Ridge St Francis Bay

Busy weekend for NSRI

NSRI STATION 21 - St Francis Bay

NSRI in action from early Saturday morning

NSRI St Francis Bay had a rather busy week when just after midnight on Saturday, 09th December, NSRI St Francis Bay duty crew launched sea rescue craft Spirit of St Francis II to rendezvous with the fishing vessel Santa Lara, 5 nautical miles from the Port of St Francis and 2 nautical miles off-shore.

The ship’s Captain had reported that they were steaming towards St Francis Bay advising that they had a crewman onboard suffering breathing difficulties.

On arrival on the scene our NSRI medics boarded the vessel and medical treatment to the 43 year old Port Elizabeth fisherman was administered and he was transferred onto our sea rescue craft and with oxygen therapy continuing we brought him to the Port of St Francis in a stable condition and he was taken into the care of Private Care ambulance services paramedics who transported him to hospital in a stable condition.

Sea conditions were 2 to 3 meter swells in a 27 knot wind.

The operation was completed at 01h30 and some of the crew were back in action at the St Francis Rocks concert cooking up a tidal wave of  boerie rolls served up with a really tasty, tangy, spicy tomato & onion gravy. Well done Sarah, you and your guys do an outstanding job.

The NSRI ensuring everyone was well fed with the boerie rolls at St Francis Rocks concert!

NSRI called to help learner

NSRI STATION 21 - St Francis BayNSRI St Francis Bay duty crew were alerted by a concerned parent from Knysna whose son was on a matric valedictory in St Francis Bay that a learner female was suspected to have ingested a contaminated beverage and was showing signs of suspected poisoning.

NSRI St Francis Bay medics responded to investigate and Private Care ambulance services were activated.

On arrival on the scene the female learner was found to be in a stable condition and after being assessed by paramedics she was released requiring no medical intervention but both NSRI and Private Care ambulance services remained on alert and checked in with the learners during the day and the learner recovered and no further assistance was required.

NSRI commend the learners and the Knysna parent for alerting a response to be certain of the learners wellbeing.

Whale set free

Whale set free from ocean bed

Following a report from a passing ship on Sunday morning reporting a whale in distress 40-nautical miles off-shore between Plettenberg BAy and Knysna. A South African Whale Disentanglement Network (SAWDN) volunteer response team accompanied NSRI lettenberg Bay sea rescue raft Leonard Smith luanched from Plettenberg Bay and NSRI Knysna sea rescue craft Colourpress Rescuer launch as back-up to the Leonard Smith.

Both sea rescue craft arrived at the GPS co-ordinates (provided by the skipper of the passing vessel) at the same time at 13h50 where SAWDN volunteers found a juvenile approximately 14 meter Humpback whale anchored to the sea bed with fishing rope around its tail and a single floatation buoy.

The SAWDN volunteers got to work and the line around the tail was cut which freed the whale from the anchored entrapment and then the floatation buoy was cut. All lines and the buoy cut free were recovered.

The cutting operation took 20 minutes before the whale was freed from the rope and buoys and the whale swam off confidently and we are confident that the operation has been successful and the whale appears to be healthy.

This is the furthest out to sea that a SAWDN operation has been conducted.


Whale set free off Plettenberg Bay – Picture SAWDN

Press reslease Craig Lambinon


Another Chokka boat tragedy

NSRI STATION 21 - St Francis Bay

NSRI St Francis Bay duty crew were activated early Sunday morning following a request for assistance from the Chokka boat Silver Explorer reporting an adult male crew member onboard suffering a seizure.

Silver Explorer headed for Port of St Francis from Kabeljous to rendezvous with the NSRI  sea rescue craft Spirit of St Francis II but on arrival at the rendezvous point, the Chokka boat skipper confirmed that his crew member sadly passed away. NSRI medics boarded the Silver Explorer and sadly confirmed the fisherman was deceased.

Silver Explorer continued into Port where they were met by the SA Police Services and the body of the deceased fisherman was taken into the care of the Forensic Pathology Services. SA Police Services have confirmed to the NSRI that an inquest docket will not be opened following the passing away of a fisherman.

SA Police Services have confirmed to the NSRI that an inquest docket will not be opened as the fisherman died of natural causes after suffering a seizure.

Sincere condolences to family, friends and colleagues of the fisherman.