Five people are in a stable condition in hospital after a charter boat rolled in the surf at Shelly Beach, on KwaZulu-Natal's South Coast, on Friday morning.
NSRI Shelly Beach duty controller Gary Wolmerans said it was originally thought the boat had capsized, following reports of people in the water at the Sonny Evans Small Craft Harbour at 06:45.
"The charter boat Viking Extreme, on a trip out to sea, was reportedly broadsided by waves causing the boat to roll in the surfline," he said in a statement.
The crew apparently jumped off the vessel as it rolled in the water, and the boat washed up north of the launch site.
"Eight people were on board. Five were treated on the scene by NSRI medics and paramedics, and transported to hospital by ambulance in stable conditions," he said.
Of the five, three were minors and were treated for shock.
The two adults - a man and a woman - were being treated for suspected spinal injuries as a precaution, Wolmerans said.
"NSRI crew assisted with getting casualties out of the water and securing them to spinal boards for evacuation to hospital. Paramedics assisted with patient treatment on the scene."
Local charter companies used their vessels to stand by and their tractors assisted in the recovery of the casualty boat, Wolmerans added.