South Africa: One Injured After Boat Capsizes Near Plettenberg Bay

Quick action from the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) over the weekend resulted in the recovery of equipment as people ran into trouble at sea.

The NSRI in Plettenberg Bay responded to a call for help at the Keurbooms river mouth on Sunday at 07:24.

"On arrival on the scene, the six crew of the capsized boat were found safely ashore and only one adult man sustained injuries. They had managed to wade ashore through shallow surf after their boat capsized in the surfline in shallow surf and [it] may have hit a sand bank that may have contributed to the boat capsizing," said NSRI Plettenberg Bay station commander Marc Rodgers.

The danger at the river mouth is unusual, said the NSRI.

"It (the river mouth) looks like it is [dangerous] because there are two incidents now and there haven't been for the last six months," NSRI spokesperson Craig Lambinon told News24.

Off-duty rescue

Medlife paramedics treated the injured man and the capsized boat was towed to the NSRI base.

"It appears that after the boat capsized, while exiting the Keurbooms river mouth to go to sea to go fishing, only one adult male got out of the boat and he assisted the three adult men and two children, who were trapped underneath the boat, to get out from under the boat through a gap, and they waded safely ashore," said Rodgers.

Elsewhere, in East London, lifeguards were rescued about 3.7km off shore when they ran into trouble on a surfski.

"It appears his surfski took on water while he was paddling in a local surfski race. Unable to get into the surfski, and about two nautical miles off shore, he held onto the surfski and drifted for over an hour until he drifted into Gonubie Bay, and when he had reached the surfline, he abandoned his surfski to attempt to body surf to the beach when BCM lifeguards reached him in the surfline and assisted him to the beach," said NSRI East London station commander Geoff McGregor.

Safety gear

Sea rescues follow their own pattern said Lambinon, making planning very difficult.

"We're on duty 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for any emergency. Any rescue operation is handled individually. With sea rescue, everything has its own unique pattern," he said.

While fishing vessels are required to carry safety gear on board, there are cases where boats lack the necessary emergency gear.

"There are fishing boats up the West Coast that don't have safety equipment and go beyond the area they should operate," said Lambinon.

But he added that socio-economic related issues played a role in the lack of safety gear.

Despite that, he committed the NSRI to continue rescue operations and treat all people with care in emergency situations.

"We treat every patient for shock, irrespective of what happened. Different people react in different ways."

Source: News24

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