A busy weekend for NSRI in St Francis & Plettenberg Bay

National Sea Rescue

Fisherman lifted off a Chokka boat off St Francis whilst a man sadly drowned in canoeing accident in Plett.

At 23h00, Saturday, 29th September, NSRI St Francis Bay duty crew were activated following a request for medical assistance from the Chokka fishing boat Blue Marlin, reporting a crewman suffering severe stomach ailment and dehydration.

The Blue marlin was steaming towards the Port St Francis from fishing grounds at Maitlands, approximately 25 nautical miles off-shore. Because of the high wind and rough sea conditions with 20 to 25 knot Easterly wind and three meter confused seas, a call was made to let them get a bit closer before launching the rescue.

The sea rescue craft Spirit of St Francis II was launched at 01h20 and rendezvoused with Blue Marlin 6 nautical miles off shore of the water tower.

The patient, an adult male, in a stable condition, was successfully transferred onto Spirit of St Francis and brought to Port St Francis where the patient, in a stable condition. was transported to hospital by Private Care ambulance .

The operation was completed at 02h45.

And it was a busy weekend for NSRI Plettenberg Bay:

At 15h25, Saturday, 29th September, NSRI Plettenberg Bay duty crew were activated following reports from the SA Police Services of a boat capsized in the vicinity of the Keurbooms River Mouth.

The sea rescue craft Ray Farnham, Airlink Rescuer and Free Runner were launched and the NSRI rescue vehicle, the SA Police Services, WC Government Health EMS, Medlife ambulance services, PBCPA (Plettenberg Bay Community Protection Association) members also responded.

An ex NSRI Plettenberg Bay member also stopped at the scene to assist.

On arrival at the scene at Poortjies Beach, Keurbooms River Mouth, a canoe with four people on board, two adult males aged 30 and two male children aged eight, all from Plettenberg Bay, was found capsized. It appeared local fishermen were able to rescue all four from the water.

CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) was commenced on one of the adults and breathing assistance resuscitation was commenced on one of the children who was in a critical condition.
The second adult and the second child were treated for shock and non-fatal drowning symptoms.

All four were transported to hospital but sadly after all CPR efforts were exhausted on the adult he was declared deceased. The child remained in a critical condition in hospital in Plettenberg Bay overnight and after his condition stabilised he was transferred to a hospital in George. He remains in a serious but stable condition but doctors are confident that the child will recover.

The second adult and the second child were both released from hospital following treatment for shock and treatment for non-fatal drowning symptoms.

Police have opened an inquest docket.

Condolences are conveyed to family and friends of the deceased man.

Also on Saturday at around 14h00, while NSRI Plettenberg Bay crew were attending at the boat club next door to the NSRI sea rescue base noticed a commotion on Central Beach where it appeared two young men were in difficulty in the surf.

NSRI coxswain Dan Meiring ran to the NSRI sea rescue base and grabbed a Malibu Rescue Board and launched into the surf.  Both teenagers, aged 18 and 16, were both caught in rip currents and in serious difficulty in the surf, and Meiring on the Malibu Rescue Board was able to keep the two men afloat. Additional NSRI rescue swimmers launched into the surf and assisted Meiring to get the teenagers safely to the beach.

Once on the beach they were checked for non-fatal drowning symptoms as both appeared to be at the point of sinking beneath the surf when Dan reached them.

Both teenager were released after being medically checked and no further assistance was required.

And on Sunday 30th September NSRI Plettenberg Bay duty crew were again activated following eye-witness reports of a drowning in progress at Robberg Beach near to the Beacon Island Hotel.

NSRI rescue swimmers and an NSRI rescue ATV (All Terrain Vehicle) responded and the sea rescue craft Airlink Rescuer was launched.

On arrival on the scene a 25 year old local man, who had been caught in a rip current, was found safe out the water after the rip current that he was caught in had washed him back in towards the beach and bystanders, including a 65 year local man, Andrew Olifant, had waded into shallow surf and they had managed to assist the man out of the water.

Eye-witnesses confirmed that the man had been face down in the water while he was swept out and then swept back in by rip-currents.

NSRI medics treated the man on the scene for non-fatal drowning symptoms and he has been transported to hospital by Medlife ambulance in a stable condition for further treatment.