NSRI warns of increased shark activity on Southern Coastline

NSRI STATION 21 - St Francis BayNSRI are appealing to bathers, paddlers, body borders and surfers to be cautious along the Southern Cape coastline and the Eastern Cape coastline, in particular around the coastline of Plettenberg Bay and between Mossel Bay and Jeffreys Bay, due to a high number of reported White shark sightings and White Shark close encounters.

The increase of sharks at this time of the year is part of the normal aggregation of these animals that take advantage of natural prey like seals and fish close in shore.

A large amount of shark sightings and some encounters have been reported close in shore along the Plettenberg Bay coastline over the past few weeks, on Sunday and today.

Drone footage of a large White shark in close proximity to surfers in Plettenberg Bay on Tuesday highlights the urgency of this safety appeal.

Sarah Waries of City of Cape Town (CoCT) Shark Spotters programme has told the NSRI “The behaviour seen in this drone footage shows that the shark is aware of the surfers and is investigating the surfers. It is important for people to remember that White sharks are naturally inquisitive Apex predators and that although shark bites are rare, water users must understand the inherent risk associated with sharing the ocean with these animals and change their behaviour accordingly to avoid encountering sharks.”

NSRI can confirm that a number of encounters reported recently included authorities appealing to surfers to exit the water at Robberg, Plettenberg Bay on Sunday, at Boneyards, Jeffreys Bay on Monday and again at Robberg, Plettenberg Bay on Tuesday, following shark sightings in close proximity to surfers reported by eye-witnesses.

NSRI and the Emergency Services are well prepared to deal with any incidents and NSRI carry emergency medical shark kits on our sea rescue craft, on NSRI rescue vehicles and our NSRI medics carry emergency medical shark kits in their private vehicles in an effort to ensure the quickest response to any incident.

The CoCT Shark Spotters Programme advise:

To reduce the risk of encountering a shark the public are urged to familiarise themselves with the following safety advice:

  • Do not swim, surf or surf-ski when birds, dolphins or seals are feeding nearby
  • Do not swim, surf or surf-ski where fishing or spear fishing is taking place
  • Do not swim in deep water beyond the breakers
  • Do not swim if you are bleeding
  • Do not swim near river mouths
  • Do not swim, surf or surfski alone
  • Do not swim, surf or surf-ski at night
  • Do not swim, surf or surf-ski if there has been a whale stranding nearby
  • Obey beach officials and lifeguards if told to leave the water
  • If a shark has recently been sighted in an area, consider using another beach for the day
  • First-time visitors to beach areas should ask the local law enforcement official, lifeguards or locals about the area
  • For those people kayaking or surf-skiing far out to the sea: please consider paddling in groups and staying close together (in a diamond formation)
  • Consider using a personal shark shield when you go surfing or kayaking
  • Pay attention to any shark signage on beaches

NSRI Durban assist Queen Mary 2

NSRI STATION 21 - St Francis Bay NSRI Durban duty crew launched the sea rescue craft Alick Rennie, accompanied by a ShipMed doctor, to rendezvous at the Queen Mary 2 cruise liner at the outer anchorage off-shore of Umhlanga, Durban when alerted at19h00, Friday, 27th March.

The ShipMed doctor, under the authority of the Department of Health Port Health Unit and the Department of Transport, was tasked to carry out routine Covid19 tests onboard.

On arrival at Queen Mary 2 the doctor, wearing full PPE (Personal Protective Equipment), was transferred onto the ship and following the sample tests that were collected the doctor was transferred back onto the sea rescue craft and brought back into the Port of Durban without incident.

All precautions, PPE and protocols as outlined by the Department of Health were followed during the operation.

queen Mary 2

Bathers caught in rip at Plettenberg Bay

NSRI STATION 21 - St Francis BayNSRI Plettenberg Bay duty crew were activated on Monday morning following reports of three people in difficulty in the water off Beach 3 ,Natures Valley.

The sea rescue craft Rescue Free Runner and Rescue Airlink were launched but as they were responding it was confirmed that all 3 casualties were out the water, but an adult male was suffering from exhaustion and required medical attention.

WC Government Health EMS were activated.

On arrival on the scene our NSRI medics attended to the adult male stabilising him and he was then attended to by EMS paramedics and following treatment he required no further assistance the ambulance arrived

The adult male, on holiday with his family from Kimberly, entered the water to assist when his 13 year old son got into difficulty in a rip current, the father also got into difficulty before the 13 year old managed to get out of the water unassisted and his 15 year old son entered the water to help his dad.

All of them managed to get out of the water safely before NSRI arrived on scene.

Another reminder that with the beautifully hot weather and warm seas we have been enjoying always ensure you swim in areas where there are lifeguarrds on duty or others in the vicinity should an emergency arise.

Dwarf Sperm Whale beached at Oyster Bay

NSRI STATION 21 - St Francis BayNSRI Oyster Bay duty crew responded to assist where a Dwarf Sperm Whale beached at Oyster Bay beach on Sunday 26th January

The whale, appearing to be in poor health, was attended to on the scene and Bay World Marine Scientists assisted with advice and DEFF (The Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries) were alerted.

The whale was loaded onto a back-board and transported to deep sea off-shore of Oyster Bay on our sea rescue craft Pierre Oyster Bay 1 and the whale was released.

The whale appeared to swim away once it was released and as a precuation NSRI monitored the coastline.

Later, on Sunday, the whale beached again at the Eastern Rocks of Oyster Bay Beach.

DEFF and Bay World were contacted and on examination, finding the whale to be in poor health, arrangements were made and the whale has been humanely euthanized. 

Samples of the whale have been collected for Bay World and DEFF.

NSRI commend the public for their concern.

PRESS RELEASE

Boy critical after near drowning at Oyster Bay

NSRI STATION 21 - St Francis Bay

Richard Kettledas, left, and NSRI Oyster Bay commander Lodewyk van Rensburg –  Image: NSRI

 

NSRI Oyster Bay duty crew was activated early afternoon on Monday (13th) to investigate reports, from an NSRI coast watcher of children launching into the surf with the NSRI Pink Rescue Buoy. Concerned as to why the buoy was being used he alerted NSRI.

Station Commander Lodewyk van Rensburg happened to be nearby and immediately proceeded to main beach and immediately established that a group of seven local males (three teenagers, three children, and an adult, their uncle) had been caught in rip currents while swimming.

Three of the children and one of the teenagers were not too deep and had managed to escape the rip and get to shore safely. The other two teenagers, both aged 14, had however been swept out to sea.

The uncle, Ricardo Kettledas, had instructed the children to go and grab the pink buoy for him and he launched into the surf with the pink buoy. He was able to rescue one of the teenagers and bring the now unconscious boy ashore showing signs of non-fatal drowning.

When van Rensburg arrived at the scene he placed the rescued boy in the recovery position but discovered the other boy was still missing in the surf.

Knowing that additional sea rescue crew were due on the scene within minutes van Rensburg left the teenager in the recovery position in the care of the other boys and he, with Kettledas, launched into the surf. At the backline they were able to reach the remaining teenager who was lifeless in the water.

Kettledas still had the pink rescue buoy with him, and assisted by the pink rescue buoy the teenager was brought to shore. Once on land van Rensburg immediately commenced with CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) efforts on the boy who was not breathing and had no pulse.

Private Care ambulance services had already been activated and the NSRI duty crew arrived on the scene and a pulse and spontaneous breathing was restored during CPR efforts and the teenager was taken into the care of paramedics . He and the first teenager were transported to hospital by Private Care ambulance with both boys in a serious condition. The first boy is recovering but the second at time of publishing was still in ICU in a Port Elizabeth hospital in a serious condition.

NSRI commend Ricardo Kettledas, 29, for his assistance.

 

Skiing Accident on the Kromme

NSRI STATION 21 - St Francis Bay

NSRI St Francis Bay duty crew was called into action on Sunday evening following a request for assistance from an NSRI Oyster Bay crewman, on the Kromme River in his private boat, reporting a teenager injured while water-skiing on a knee-board on the river four kilometers upstream.

The NSRI Oyster Bay crewman, Marc Mans, had witnessed the accident and using his private boat had gone to the aid of the male teenager and alerted NSRI St Francis Bay.

Marc had secured the teenager onto a board, removing him from the water, and taking him onboard his boat. The teenager was then taken to Marc’s housing complex where NSRI St Francis Bay medics and Private Care ambulance services rendezvoused with them. From there the teenager was taken into the care of paramedics and he was been transported to hospital by Private Care ambulance in a stable condition, accompanied by his dad