Beached whale prompts shark alert

Shark Alert off Kouga beaches

NSRI are urging public caution along the Eastern Cape Coastlines of Oyster Bay, St Francis Bay and Jeffreys Bay.

Beached whale on Ann's Beach, St Francis BayA whale carcass that washed up on Anne Avenue Beach on the St Francis Bay coastline (originally found floating off-shore of Jeffreys Bay on Wednesday) is believed to have caused a larger than normal shark presence in the area.

On Friday, 28th October,  NSRI St Francis Bay trainee crew member Mark White (who is also a saturation diver) and his friend, local Cody Futeran, in their private capacity, assisted Disaster Management who were tasked to remove the whale carcass from the beach.

The whale carcass, of a 15 meter Southern Right Whale, originally located by NSRI St Francis Bay floating off-shore of Jeffreys Bay on Wednesday afternoon, had drifted and beached by Thursday morning at Anne Avenue Beach, St Francis Bay.

Mark and Cody assisted by securing the whale carcass into a bridal and rope and using their private jet-ski they transported end of the rope to the Chokka fishing boat Sparadon (positioned behind the breaker line at Ann Avenue Beach). On the hogh tide Sparadon towed the whale carcass off the beach out to the deep sea where it was released for natural disposal.

Sharks were spotted in the vicinity of the Kromme River and Ann Avenue Beach, off-shore of St Francis Bay, close in-shore, over the past few days and their perceived increased presence is believed to be directly related to the whale carcass that beached on Thursday and which was then subsequently towed out to sea on Friday.

Bathers, paddlers, divers, sail boarders are urged to be cautious.

Busy day for NSRI

NSRI STATION 21 - St Francis Bay

St Francis

Sara Smith, NSRI St Francis Bay station commander reports:

At 10h05, Wednesday, 26th October, NSRI St Francis Bay duty crew were activated by the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) to investigate eye-witness reports of a whale suspected to be beaching or in difficulties off-shore of Jeffreys Bay.

We launched the Sea Rescue craft Spirit of St Francis II and on arrival on the scene confirmed that a whale carcass was floating off-shore. Save & Exit

To prevent the carcass from washing ashore TNPA have arranged a boat that will tow the whale carcass out to sea.


Jerry Jackson, NSRI Shelly Beach station commander, said:

At 10h50, Wednesday, 26th October, NSRI Shelly Beach duty crew were activated following a request for assistance made to the Shelly Beach control from the fishing vessel Lucky Sands reporting one of her 2 motors suffering motor failure.

We launched our sea rescue craft Spirit of Dawn and met up with them on the backline, off-shore of Shelly Beach, and transferred 4 of her crew onto our sea rescue craft and brought them to shore and returning to fetch a further 4 crew and they were also brought ashore aboard our sea rescue craft.

The skipper and one crewman remained on the casualty boat and they were able to bring her in on one motor safely without incident and no further assistance was required.

 NSRI Spirit of Dawn

NSRI Shelly Beach sea rescue craft Spirit of Dawn on the slip way


Jerome Simonis, NSRI Knysna station commander, said:

At 11h35, Wednesday, 26th October, we responded aboard our sea rescue craft Colorpress rescuer following a request for assistance from 2 local men on their 18 foot local boat Sea Donkey reporting motor failure from suspected water contaminated fuel off-shore of Buffalo Bay, East of Walker Point.

On arrival on the scene a tow-line was rigged and we towed them to the Knysna Angling Club without incident and no further assistance was required.


At 16h46, Wednesday, 26th October, NSRI Bakoven duty crew were activated by the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) following eye-witness reports of a man being swept out to sea at Camps Bay Beach.

Laila Saven, of Eco Waste Group, a local who was at the beach at the time and who is involved in a Unilever sponsored program training the Ola Ice Cream vendors along the Atlantic Sea Board (they are trained in community awareness and carry basic first aid kits and are St John’s First Aid trained and received training by NSRI’s WaterWise program), contacted NSRI’s Andrew Ingram directly and this assisted by giving responding resources a regular update of the events as they unfolded.

It appears that a local adult man, aged in his 20’s, was swept out to sea by rip currents. Another local adult man, aged in his 20’s, went into the water to assist but he also got into difficulties. Laila was able to summons a body boarder who launched into the surf and using his floating body board he was able to rescue the man who originally got into difficulty. We believe that the second man made it out of the surf unassisted. Bystanders waded in to help the men out of the water.

The two men were treated on the scene by Community Medics. They both suffered non-fatal drowning symptoms and exhaustion. Following medical treatment on the beach they both chose not to be transported to hospital and Community Medics advised them and their families to remain aware for secondary drowning symptoms.

NSRI commend the bystanders who assisted today at Camps Bay Beach. Laila and the body boarder (unidentified) and the members of the public who waded into the surf to assist.

St Francis College Celebrates

St Francis College celebrates – Happy Birthday St Francis College

Kouga’s progressive private school, St Francis College, turns 12 this year. Nursery School head teacher Jane Lonsdale and pupils are seen here celebrating the occasion with cake and birthday songs.

St Francis College turns 12

Nursery School head teacher Jane Lonsdale and pupils

The King is alive!

A surprise visit by Elvis Presley to the St Francis College Senior Talent Show last month left the audience thrilled. ‘Elvis, also known as principal Franzl Bause, serenaded staff and pupils with a spot-on rendition of ‘Blue Suede Shoes’.

Elvis performs at St Francis College

‘Elvis, also known as principal Franzl Bause

A Grand Occasion

Grandparents and Grand Friends Day is a much-anticipated annual event at St Francis College. This year’s celebration was delightful, with lots of activities, singing and a picnic spread on the grass. Pupils played games and made crafts with their grannies, grampas and ‘grand friends’ and lots of fun was had by all.

Bingo at St Francis College

Grade 00 Teacher Michelle Miller and her class played an exciting game of Bingo with their Grandparents and Grand Friends

Picnic at St Francis College

At the Nursery Campus the Grandparents and Grand Friends joined the pupils in the playground for a delicious picnic and cup of tea

picnic at St Francis College

Layla and Roux Du Bruyn enjoying their picnic with their Grandparents Elizabeth and Norman Pretorius

Peter Swan at St Francis College

Lexera and Leyna Castle setting up their picnic for their Grand Friend Peter Swan.

St Francis College School Garden.

As Spring unfolds, green-fingered pupils at St Francis College are delighted with what they are producing in their recently expanded school garden. The pupils plant and harvest both vegetables and herbs and enjoy relaxing in the beautiful space during break and after school. St Francis College is an Eco-School, which means that environmental education and awareness are part of the curriculum and reflects the institution’s commitment to sustainability.

St Francis College gardens

Articles and photographs by Roxanne Litherland, Beth Cooper Howell, Louise Ackerman, Jane Lonsdale, Caroline Anderson

Great Music Weekend

Great music from Jack Mantis Band

Quite by chance I overheard the Jack Mantis Band setting up for their show at Rock Lily last Friday night and so intrigued was I by their music, I decided to attend the show to hear more. And what a great decision it was for it was a truly an inspirational evening of really good music. All the music was original with not a single cover of a well-known song yet one felt one knew the music, as if the music was on your evergreen favourites list.

Chatting with Jack during a break in the music I was astonished by this disarmingly friendly and obviously intelligent musician. Reading his bio the following day it all came together that Jack is how many would define a true artist “living out his various passions as musician, graffiti artist, adventurer and ultimately soul searcher”.

Apparently his initial aspiration was to be a concert pianist but he went on to study orchestra, percussion and marimba “before finding his calling in the guitar”. Quoting from his bio, “It just felt right to me, it allowed me to play what I really wanted to. Guitar saved my life.”

Jack ‘s early musical influences Tom Waits who he says “fired him into space” and challenged everything that he knew about music with other later influences including Eddie Vedder, Dave Matthews Band, Jeff Buckley and Roger Waters.

Originally from Cape Town Jack says because of their travels they don’t really have a home although they do find refuge in the foothills of the Drakensberg. For St Francis Today readers in Kwazulu-Natal, Jack and his band will be in Lidgetton at Caversham Mill in the midlands on Thursday night 27th October and at Amsterdam in Durban on the 28th. During our chat Jack spoke of how when they play in the KZN Midlands the crowds arrive in hordes and how special these rural audiences are.

Jack Mantis Band at Rock Lily, Cape St Francis

Photo – Andre Hugo

Jack Mantis and Karl Weschta

Adding a little local talent to the evening local flutist Karl Weschta joined Jack on stage for some great music

If you are a discerning music lover The Jack Mantis Band really are worth following and for readers in KZN, Free State and Gauteng here is their itinerary going forward as they tour South Africa.

  • 27 October – Lidgetton at Caversham Mill
  • 28 October – Amsterdam in Durban
  • 5 November – Voetspoor Fees in Bloem
  • 6 November – Sundowners in Alberton
  • 11 November – Railways in Johannesburg
  • 12 November – Goodluck Bar in Jhb – with Prime Circle

Read Jack’s bio


To end off a great musical weekend there was the Oktoberfest and it was great to see the support this new entertainment initiative received from locals and it seems, even quite a few out of towners for the village was unusually busy on Saturday, well busy for this time of year. Well done to the organisers and to Cape St Francis Brewing Company, Legends and Pedal & Spoke who worked together to put on a great evening’s entertainment with some good music and great fun.

Photo’s from the weekend

Scene About 21-22-Oct


Speeding on R330 – you have been warned

Speeding motorists be warned

Speeding R330Nigel Aitken, Chairman of the St Francis Bay Sector Policing Forum has appealed to motorists to proceed with care in the vicinity of the of the new bridge construction area. The contractors at the bridge have been forced to erect speed humps either side and in the middle of the temporary bridge due to motorists crossing at excessive speed and threatening the safety of workmen and other motorists. As a result a number of traffic calming and speed control measures have been put in place by the contractors constructing the new Sand River bridge. Motorists are urged to drive with care and observe speed limits while work is underway.

According to Aitken, the construction company has reported that one of their workmen tasked with flagging motorists to slow down was recently threatened by an incensed motorist. The motorist allegedly stopped, approached the workman and physically threatened the workman. This truly is unacceptable behaviour.

There is a further problem on the R330 in the vicinity of the Sea Vista Primary school and the informal settlement where stray farm animals often wander unattended on the road.
The speed limit from the Humansdorp side of the Sand River Bridge through to the point beyond the informal settlement is 60 kph. However motorists seldom if ever adhere to this limit and have been noted on occasion travelling in excess of 120 kph. Obviously this is a criminal offence and anyone caught motoring at this speed in this area could face a jail sentence.

With the festive season approaching the St Francis Sector Police Forum is appealing to all motorists and road users to strictly adhere to the traffic safety measures put in place.

The Traffic department and Municipal Law Enforcement are aware of this problem and will be visiting St Francis more frequently to police this road and motorists are warned of severe consequences.

Motorists are urged to drive with care and observe speed limits while work is underway.

Here is the fines table for excessive speed in a 60 kph zone

National Road Traffic Act 93/1996
Sect 59(4)(b) r/w: Exceeding general speed limit of 60 km/h in Urban Area.
Speed Fine
71 – 74 R200.00
75 – 79 R400.00
80 – 84 R600.00
85 – 90 R800.00
91+ No AG
Just by the way ….  No AG means …….

Motorists who exceed the maximum speed for admission-of-guilt fines (ie  91 kph+ in a 60 kph zone), are not given the option to pay an admission-of-guilt fine. They are arrested and brought before a magistrate. If found guilty, they may face up to five years in prison or a R25 000 fine.