Boat crew rescued off Kromme River Mouth

National Sea RescueSarah Smith, station commander at Station 21 St Francis Bay reported that just before 10h00, yesterday, 12th June, NSRI St Francis Bay duty crew were activated following eye-witness reports of a boat capsized almost a nautical mile off-shore of the Kromme River Mouth.

NSRI rescue swimmers responded directly to the scene while the sea rescue craft Spirit of St Francis II and Rescue 21 Alpha were launched. EC Government Health EMS were also activated and responded.

On arrival on the scene the found that a crew aboard a local rubber duck had rescued two men who they found in the water next to the capsized boat Nemo, a nautical mile off-shore. The had in the meantime, brought both men, aged 40 and 46, to the beach.

It appears that while fishing from their boat a wave capsized their boat. They had been in the water for at least an hour and a half before eye-witnesses on the beach noticed the boat adrift at sea and raised the alarm.

NSRI used our Rescue Runner to bring both men to the NSRI rescue craft and they were both brought to our sea rescue base where EMS paramedics attended to the men for minor injuries, shock and mild hypothermia but they declined being transported to hospital and they were advised on precautions for non-fatal drowning symptoms.

They are expecting that the tide washes their capsized boat ashore to be recovered.

NSRI commended the rescue effort by the crew of the private rubber-duck and as always we commend NSRI who are always there to serve  us.

Thanks again NSRI and congratulations Sarah-Jane and the Station 21 St Francis Bay crew on being awarded The Best RIB Station of the year 2017.

Sarah-Jane receiving the award for The Best RIB Station of the year 2017

Search for missing light aircraft:

NSRI STATION 21 - St Francis BayNSRI along the East Coast, are continuing to assist the Aeronautical Rescue Coordination Centre (ARCC), by continuing to keep a vigil for a Foxbat Tricycle-Gear Ultra Light Aircraft, call sign ZUPCB, and the 61 year old Newcastle pilot, that went missing on Wednesday, 06th June, during a flight from Newcastle.

On Thursday, 07th June, NSRI Richards Bay launched sea rescue craft to conduct an off-shore search Northwards of Richards Bay towards St Lucia. The search extended up to 5 nautical miles off-shore.

NSRI rescue stations between St Lucia and East London have been requested by ARCC to keep a vigil and as a precautionary measure to extend the vigil along the coastline to also include as far as both our NSRI stations in Port Alfred and Port Elizabeth.

NSRI controllers are monitoring for any reports from members of the public, recreational sea going craft, fishermen, ships at sea and coastal boat clubs, hikers, anglers, lifeguards, NSRI coast watchers, coastal resorts and bathers that may come across debris washing ashore that might be related to this case.

ARCC confirmed that the aircraft was last known to be flying over the coastline in the Mabibi vicinity.

Santjie White, the Chief of the Aeronautical Rescue Coordination Centre, said that the extensive search Northwards of Mabibi takes into account Northwards sea drift currents in the possibility that the aircraft ditched close inshore and the extensive search Southwards of Mabibi, to as far afield as East London, takes into account if the aircraft ditched in the sea further off-shore with the Southwards sea drift currents further out to sea. A land search has also yielded no sign of the missing aircraft.

While it remains unknown if the aircraft went missing on land or at sea the extensive ARCC search, extended between Northern Kwa-Zulu Natal (Sodwana Bay) and Southwards, both on land and at sea, and the vast coastline search, takes into account all possibilities.

ARCC have also requested aircraft flying along the coastline to keep a vigil.

Thoughts are with the family of the missing pilot in this difficult time.

Car plunges into river at Kenton-on-Sea

National Sea RescueNSRI Port Alfred was called to the scene of a motor vehicle accident yesterday afternoon where a vehicle had plunged off the Kariega river bridge.

Police, suspecting there were people trapped in the submerged vehicle or missing in the river, requested NSRI assistance and NSRI dispatched rescue swimmers and sea rescue craft Rescue 11 Alpha which was launched onto the river where NSRI, assisted by local spear fisherman who was in the area conducted a search.

Some of the occupants, a man, two women, a teenage girl and a toddler escaped from the submerged vehicle and were safe but taken to hospital for treatment.

Divers later recovered the bodies of an adult female, 10-year old girl and a female toddler from the wreckage of the motor vehicle.

NSRI find missing father & son

National Sea RescueSara Smith NSRI St Francis Bay station commander received a call yesterday afternoon from a Jeffreys Bay member of the public reporting that her son-in-law and grandchild, on holiday from Pretoria, on a beach walk were overdue by 2 hours at a pre-arranged rendezvous at Checkers beach, Jeffreys Bay.

NSRI St Francis Bay set up a communications network and NSRI Jeffreys Bay crew were activated to join local Police who were patrolling along the beachfront in a search effort.

The 45 year old man and his three year old son had planned to walk along the beach from Supertubes to Checkers beach where they would meet his wife.  They started at 11h00 and agreed to meet at 12h00 at Checker’s Beach but they had not arrived as scheduled.

A local clinic was also investigated but no sign of the missing duo had been located and concerns were raised.

An NSRI Jeffreys Bay quad bike was activated and searched along the beach and at 14h44 the man and his son were located at the Checker’s Beach and confirmed that they had simply taken longer than expected not knowing that a search had been launched.

The man’s wife was informed and she came to pick them up and NSRI commend the concerns raised and the efforts by the family, Police, NSRI and the community.

In the interest of safety NSRI urge boaters, paddlers, sail boarders and those hiking and walking along beaches and along the coastline to plan ahead, let a responsible person know the time you are leaving, your intended route and your return time. Stick to your plans and let the responsible person know of your safe return or any delay.

Have emergency numbers programmed into your phone.

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Skipper thanks NSRI

Ship’s Master thanks NSRI

Following the amazing effort by NSRI the skipper of the SA Amandla, the ship that was able to tow the stricken tugboat and ship to safety wrote the following to the crews involved.

Dear Ian Gray, Station Commander NSRI Port Elizabeth

Please see below from Capt Duse – I would like to echo his comments.

Many thanks, you and your team managed to alleviate what could have been a very serious maritime incident.

Best regards

Dave Murray | BU Manager : Offshore Marine Services

“I would like to forward my deepest and sincere appreciation and thanks to the NSRI teams – Rescue 21 St Francis and Rescue 37 Jeffrey’s Bay and their base support teams that came out to give support and medical standby during the time of the bridle wire recovery and tow connection.  We had on this occasion had to work as close as <5 meters from the bulbous bow of the MT ORDER  to recover the very short bridle pennant on deck. It was comforting and morale up lifting to all onboard to have the rescue teams in close standby should any immediate evacuation of crew had been required

I take my hat off to those guys who offer their time and life  for the preservation of life to all connected with the seas.

Well done to all… Give them all a Bells from us

Kind regards

The Master , Officers and crew

Russel Duse

Master – m.t. “SA Amandla”

At 19h30, Friday, 04th May, NSRI St Francis Bay duty crew were alerted following reports of the Tug Boat AHT Carrier reporting that while towing the MT Order (towing to Maputo) the towing rope had separated and rope had fouled the tug boats one motor tethering her to the casualty boat. She was unable to recover the tow rope to re-attach a towline to the casualty vessel and reporting that effectively both the tug boat and the casualty vessel were drifting shorewards in the currents but at that stage still at least 15 nautical miles off-shore.

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NSRI St Francis avert potential disaster

NSRI St Francis in massive disaster prevention effort

National Sea Rescue

It is appropriate that our photo of the week has the NSRI Spirit of St Francis Rescue boat featured alongside the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior for our local lads and ladies from NSRI did us proud this weekend both in preventing a disaster as reported below but also on a personal note at the Kromme Descent.

At 19h30, Friday, 4th May, NSRI St Francis Bay duty crew were alerted following reports of the Tug Boat AHT Carrier reporting that while towing the MT Order (towing to Maputo) the towing rope had separated and rope had fouled the tug boats one motor tethering her to the casualty boat and she was unable to recover the tow rope to re-attach a towline to the casualty vessel and reporting that effectively both the tug boat and the casualty vessel were drifting shorewards in the currents but at that stage still at least 15 nautical miles off-shore.

The Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA), NSRI St Francis Bay, NSRI Jeffreys Bay and NSRI Port Elizabeth were placed on alert and while no lives were in any immediate danger with the 2 vessels tethered to each other the sea rescue stations remained on high alert to respond if an emergency developed.

The tugboat investigated all possibilities to detach herself from the casualty vessel and to re-attach a towline.

At 23h50, with unconfirmed information suggesting that the casualty vessel and the tugboat to be anywhere between 5 to 10 nautical miles off-shore and NSRI unable to gather accurate information on the exact amount of crew on the tugboat NSRI assisted to gather information from the ship’s agents.

It was reported that salvage divers had been activated from Cape Town but it would take quite some time to reach the scene.

It was then confirmed that there were 14 crew onboard the tugboat AHT Carrier and no crew onboard MT Order and at 05h00 NSRI learnt that they were now at least close to 4 nautical miles off-shore and that the SA Amandla salvage vessel had been activated but they were only due to arrive on the scene at 14h00.

At 05h10, Saturday, 05th May, NSRI made the decision to activate an emergency and the NSRI St Francis Bay sea rescue craft Spirit of St Francis II and the NSRI Jeffreys Bay sea rescue craft Eddie Beaumont II launched.

On arrival on the scene we found both vessels approximately 5 nautical miles off-shore and in the current drift, they were approximately about 2 hours from running aground.

All crew onboard the tug were safe but they were helpless without a tender boat to recover their towline from the water and with rope fouled around one motor leaving the MT Order at risk of running aground.

Rope fouled around the motor of AHT Carrier had been loosened but one motor was still not operational.

On investigation we found a cable lying in the water off the stern of the casualty vessel.

The NSRI sea rescue craft maneuvered around the ship and followed that cable lying over her stern into the water and we found a chain attached to that cable and then thick rope attached to that chain.

The thick and very heavy rope that we found was hauled with great difficulty but successfully by our NSRI rescue crews onto the sea rescue craft (as much of the thick rope as was possible was recovered) and NSRI then rigged a patent line, using NSRI normal towing rope, and we were able to feed that patent line that we had rigged to the crew of the tug boat and the tug boat recovered their towline and stern to stern, on one motor, the tow ropes integrity was sound and the tug boat was able to hold the casualty ship by using her one operational motor from drifting and stopping their drift towards shore at 08h18.

NSRI sea rescue craft remained on the scene and only returned to re-fuel.

The tugboat, with her one motor operational and tow-line rigged stern to stern, they were able to gently head further out to sea.

NSRI met the SA Amandla on her arrival at around 13h00 and we stood by on the scene while the SA Amandla took over the tow of the casualty vessel from AHT Carrier.

Once the tow was safely taken up by SA Amandla NSRI returned to base and later in the afternoon we have been requested to take the salvage divers out to the AHT Carrier.

The SA Amandla has now towed the casualty ship further out to sea and no further NSRI assistance has been requested.

During the operation, Telkom Maritime Radio Services assisted with communications and Disaster Risk Management had also been placed on alert and SAMSA (South African Maritime Safety Authority) are assisting with coordinating this operation.

NSRI St Francis Bay, NSRI Jeffreys Bay and all involved in this operation are commended for averting a disaster at sea today.

From NSRI Press Release