Boat capsizes off Kromme and spear fishermen have a shark encounter

Ski Boat capsizes off Kromme mouth and two spear fishermen have encounter with a shark off Wild Side

NSRI St Francis Bay duty crew were activated early on Monday following reports of a boat capsized with seven people onboard, including children, all wearing life-jackets, at the mouth of the Kromme River.

The sea rescue craft Spirit of St Francis II was launched and NSRI crew responded directly to the scene and found that all seven were safely ashore by the time NSRI arrived.

One girl was treated for an arm injury and a slight laceration to the head and she was taken to a local doctor for further medical care.

The remaining six crew were not injured.

They are regular visitors on holiday from up-country and not being familiar with the changes in the estuary it appears that they hit a sand bank that possibly contributed to the boat capsizing

Assisted by members of the public NSRI righted and recovered the capsized boat and we commend the public members who helped.

In a rather scary incident off the Wild Side, Cape St Francis last Saturday (4th January)  two spear fishermen diving in a gulley about 250m offshore, had an encounter with what is thought to have been a great white shark.  They had four bonitos on a stringer when the shark swooped in and took their bounty which was attached a buoy and to Juan Moore’s speargun. Moore was dragged several metres before he was able to release his spear gun.

Neither diver was injured and they swam ashore no worse for wear from their experience.

 A smaller great white had been seen in the area the previous day as well a few Bronze Whalers and there is a fair amount of fish around at the moment, an obvious attraction to sharks.

There has been a fair amount of shark activity including an incident with two ski paddlers off Oyster Bay  a couple of weeks back as well as the incident off Nahoon Beach in East London where a paddler competing in an event had his ski damaged by a great white that left a 40cm hole in his craft.  In another incident  at nearby Nature’s Valley also just before Christmas and reported by SFT a  spear fisherman was also dragged by a shark after spearing a mussel cracker which the shark found to be a delectable entree.

Looking back at Cape St Francis Lighthouse from the Wild Side. Photo by Martin Barbour

Teenager drowned two missing off Wells Estate Beach, – PE

Late yesterday (Wednesday 8th Jamuary) a call was relayed by the SA Police Services to the NMB (Nelson Mandela Bay) Water Rescue Group reporting a drowning in progress at Wells Estate Beach.

The NMB Beach Office municipal lifeguards, Coastal Water Rescue, the SA Police Services, a Police Dive Unit and Eastern Cape Government Health EMS responded.

NSRI were requested to be on stand-by.

On arrival on the scene bystander CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) efforts were found being conducted on an 18 year old male, who had washed onto the shore and a male teenager, age 17, who had also washed onto the shore, was not injured.

One male, age 20, and one male, age 28, were missing in the surf.

NMB Beach Office lifeguards launched a RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat) to search for the two missing males.

Paramedics had continued with CPR efforts on the teenager and despite extensive CPR efforts, after all efforts to resuscitate the teenager were exhausted, sadly he was declared deceased.

NSRI Port Elizabeth duty were activated to respond to assist in a search for the two missing men.

NSRI Port Elizabeth dispatched a sea rescue vehicle and the sea rescue craft JLT rescuer was launched.

On NSRI’s arrival on the scene they joined in the search and assisted in an extensive sea and shoreline search but no sign of the two missing men was been found and Police are tasked to continue in an ongoing search.

Police have opened an inquest docket.

The body of the deceased teenager has been taken into the care of Government Health Forensic Pathology Services.

It appears that the two teenagers and the 20 year old man were swimming when they were caught in rip currents. A 28 year old bystander launched into the surf to try to help but he was swept away by rip currents.

NSRI, on behalf of all services involved, convey condolences to the family and friends of the deceased teenager. 

Decisive Day Unfolds at Corona Open China hosted by Wanning

Former Championship Tour (CT) competitor Joan Duru started Round 2 off with a bang at the Corona Open China hosted by Wanning. – Credit: © WSL / Tim Hain

RIYUE BAY, Wanning/China (Wednesday, January 8, 2020) – The men’s Qualifying Series (QS) contingent took over Riyue Bay once more at the World Surf League (WSL) Corona Open China, a men’s and women’s QS 5,000, and continued their assault on the left point lineup. A slight decrease in swell still pulsed with two-to-three foot (1 – 1.5 metre), occasional plus, surf making its way for competitors to take advantage of and those who showed their patience excelled. Round 2 was finished in its entirety as the women’s competition was called off for the day.

A few of the former Championship Tour (CT) elite are present and accounted for and Joan Duru (FRA) made that presence known in today’s proceedings. The Frenchman overpowered the left point with his decimating forehand attack to accrue the day’s best heat total, an impressive 14.50 (out of a possible 20), on the way to his Round 2 Heat 1 win. Now Duru has his eyes set on the horizon moving forward after surviving a decisive day of competition. (Interview in video)

The Japanese contingent also continued to impress with Shun Murakami accruing the day’s best of a 14.93 heat total along with Shuji Nishi and Hiroto Ohhara both delivering the goods. Josh Moniz (HAW) matched Ohhara’s  top single-wave score of the day with an excellent 8.17 as the event moved into tough afternoon conditions.

Positive Vibe Warrior Turns it Up A Notch

Duru’s fellow former CT competitor found his next gear in the smaller conditions and relished his heat win. – Credit: WSL/ Hain

Patrick Gudauskas (USA) is known around the world as one of the “Positive Vibe Warriors” along with his brothers Dane and Tanner, and brought that mentality to China for this event. The 33-year-old was most recently on the elite CT in 2018 after competing among the world’s best for four years between 2010-2013 and now looks to rejoin the Tour by getting things started early in 2020. Gudauskas overtook the lead from an in-form Ohhara with his pre-studied knowledge of Riyue Bay as he looks to improve further.
 
“I’m really excited to be here on Hainan (Island) and the wave is really beautiful,” Gudauskas said. “I’ve been enjoying my surfs out there. It kind of reminds me of Churches near where I live if you go left there but it’s surprisingly powerful here with all the reef. That heat was pretty slow but I got my two waves, Hiroto got that eight and didn’t get a second one so today’s a good day to make it through.”

Keanu Asing (HAW) rounded out the former CT elite in attendance with another clutch heat win as he heads into Round 3 with plenty of momentum. 

Latin Americans Thrive in Round 2 Showdowns

: Mexican competitor Jhony Corzo came back from a close Round 1 heat and left no doubt in a big Round 2 performance. – Credit: WSL/ Hain

One of Mexico’s most esteemed surfers Jhony Corzo (MEX) delivered their first-ever Gold Medal in surfing nearly three years ago and brought that form into his Round 2 heat here with a 14.00 heat total. Hailing from Puerto Escondido, Mexico, Corzo is able to train at a nearby left point known as La Punta and showed that training paid off as he progresses forward.
 
“You just have to wait for the good waves, there’s always a set so I just tried waiting for that good one,” said Corzo. “Luckily I got one that let me pass through to the next round and I’m feeling super confident. Where I live is a left too so I trained a lot on that wave before coming. It’s great seeing more Mexicans on the QS like Alan Cleland at these events. There’s not many of us traveling around but hopefully we can break the ice and become the first-ever Mexican on the CT.”

Peru’s Lucca Mesinas felt right at home on the running lefts on offer in both his Round 1 on opening day (pictured) and Round 2 today. – Credit: © WSL / Tim Hain

2018 North America Regional QS Champion Lucca Mesinas (PER) has a big year ahead of after nearly finding his way into the Top 100 last season and also prepares for the 2020 Olympic Games Tokyo. This notes Mesinas’ second visit to Riyue Bay after competing in the QS and ISA events, and showed that experience with notching the two best scores in his Round 2 heat using smart wave selection.
 
“This wave is very similar to my hometown so it’s really nice to be surfing here,” said Mesinas. “It’s smaller than yesterday but there’s still a lot of power so you can still hit all the waves. I wanted to start really quick since it was slower and then wait for a good one and hopefully it would work so I’m happy it did. Last year I qualified for the Olympics and this year that’s my goal is to my best there and also have the focus on the QS as well to get a better ranking than last year.”

Event organizers will convene at 6:45 a.m. CST to determine a possible start to either men’s Round 3 or women’s Round 3 of competitione QS as well to get a better ranking than last year.”