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.

NSRI Open Day

NSRI Open Day and you are invited

This year the National Sea Rescue Institute celebrates 50 years of saving lives at sea. Each Station around the coast will have its own celebration and we at Station 21 – St. Francis Bay have combined our Open Day and 50th Celebrations into one big Sea Rescue event!

Our base will be open to the general public from 10am – 2pm on the 27 April. Activities will include a base tour, magnificent boat displays with Spirit of St Francis II and a meet and greet with the volunteer crew.  We have a fun line-up for the kiddies which includes face painting and a jumping castle!

National Sea Rescue Institute celebrates 50 years

Drowning at The Cove

Man drowns at The Cove

NSRI STATION 21 - St Francis BaySt Francis NSRI Duty Crew were alerted to a drowning in progress at the Cove on the St Francis Bay Canals on Saturday afternoon and immediately dispatched rescue swimmers to the scene. Two  private boats that were in the vicinity also assisted but the man had disappeared under water having been swept away from the cove by a strong rip current. An extensive search was put into action including a sweeping line search conducted by the NSRI rescue swimmers. It took some two hours to finally locate the body of the man who was recovered from the water by the NSRI rescue swimmers and brought ashore where the body was handed to the SA Police Forensic Pathology services. An inquest docket has been opened by the police who are also assisting the family of the man believed to be a local resident in his mid-30’s.

Injured Dolphin Euthanised

NSRI STATION 21 - St Francis Bay

Rare beached dolphin euthanised

Beached dolphin at Jeffrys Bay

Photo by NSRI Jeffreys Bay. Show the injured dolphin being cared for at Kabaljous Beach.

A call from Paul Makupula, from Jeffreys Bay Lifeguards reporting a baby dolphin stranded at Main Beach Jeffreys Bay was received by NSRI Station commander, Ernie Schmidt early on Saturday morning. Schmidt and his wife, Elaine who is also an NSRI crew member, responded to the scene. Elaine had recently completed the Marine Animal Stranding Network course presented by Bay World in Port Elizabeth in conjunction with The Department of Environmental Affairs – Oceans and Coasts.

“Unfortunately, when we arrived on the scene it was found that the dolphin had been put back into the sea several times but it kept beaching. By the time we arrived it did not beach again” commented Schmidt. “It appears to have been a juvenile Bottlenose dolphin and we stayed in the area for some 90 minutes in case there was another beaching” continued Schmidt who then briefed the lifeguards not to try to put the dolphins back in the water, but to rather call the NSRI to activate the Stranding Network who deal with strandings in the appropriate manner.

Later in the day, a little before 4pm, a call from Tim Baard at Kabeljous Beach reported another, much larger dolphin stranded, and that the dolphin had fairly severe wounds on its side and back behind the dorsal fin.

Schmidt continues.  “Myself and my wife Elaine arrived on the scene and organised the lifeguards and some members of the public to assist us in dealingl with the animal ensuring that it suffered as little stress as possible while decisions were being made about the fate of the severely wounded animal. NSRI’s Michael van den Bergh was summoned to bring our NSRI Rescue Mobile to the beach.  The dolphin was an adult, male, Striped Dolphin, reportedly a species very rarely seen in the area”.

Dr Greg Hoffmeyer, of Bayworld, was contacted by Malcolm Logan who assists him in the Jeffreys Bay area and Dr Hoffmeyer immediately organised a veterinary surgeon from the local Oribi Animal Hospital, Dr. Kathy Bezuidenhout, to examine the animal.  He also contacted Mike Meyer of the Department of Environmental Affairs – Oceans and Coasts to get approval and to advise on action in cooperation with the vet.

After examining the dolphin the it decided that the wounds were too severe for it to live if it were put back into the sea and arrangement were were made to take the animal to the Animal Hospital. The dolphin was too big to fit onto the NSRI Rescue Mobile  and a member of the public came to the NSRI’s assistance with a pickup truck.  Mr Pierre Hertzog, from Bloemfontein, and his two sons Hans and Dirk agreed to help (The Hertzog family happen to also be involved with the Oceanographic Research Institute (ORI) for whom they at times assist with the tagging of sharks).

The dolphin was loaded into a Stokes basket stretcher and transported off the beach to the pickup truck and then transported with a team of carers on the pick-up truck to the Animal Hospital where sadly, after all attempts to save the dolphin were exhausted, the dolphin was humanely euthanised by the vet.

Everyone who assisted is commended in this incident.

NSRI urge the public to call NSRI in cases of Marine Animal strandings so that the Marine Animal Stranding Network can be activated.