NSRI rescues man swept out to sea in strong winds

NSRI Jeffreys Bay rescued a man blown about two nautical miles out to sea on a sea kayak this morning

The Jeffreys Bay man tried to paddle towards shore against the strong off-shore wind that had suddenly developed, according to witnesses.. His efforts were in vain as he was continually and steadily blown further out to sea.

Rieghard Janse van Rensburg, NSRI Jeffreys Bay station commander, says at 9. 27 am (Wednesday 21 March)  NSRI Jeffreys Bay received a call from 24/7 paramedic services reporting eye-witness accounts of a man being blown out to sea on a sea kayak off Aston Bay, Jeffreys Bay.

NSRI Jeffreys Bay volunteer sea rescue duty crew were activated, says Rieghard. The crew managed to establish contact with  40 year-old Hayden Bailey, after he managed phoned the NSRI rescue base on his cell phone to request urgent assistance.

“Our NSRI volunteer sea rescue duty crew launched our sea rescue craft Discovery Rescue Runner. On arrival on-scene, sight of Hayden had been lost so we began a search from his last known position”, says Rieghard.

In gusting 25+ knot winds and a heavy sea swell the NSRI crew continued a search pattern steadily heading further out to sea. Hayden spotted the highly visible sea rescue craft first and used his cellphone to communicate. He guided the crew towards him and he was rescued 2 nautical miles off-shore. His sea kayak was also saved.

Hayden was uninjured.  He told NSRI cfrew the off-shore wind had suddenly picked up while he was paddling along the coast and the wind blew him out to sea despite his best efforts to paddle towards the shore.

Hayden was reunited with his fiancee who had waited anxiously on shore for news of his fate.

NSRI commend Hayden for having a communication device while out paddling and for storing the local sea rescue emergency phone number into his phone.

Sea Rescue Discovery Rescue Runner, NSRI rescue swimmer Joshua du Pisanie, casualty Hayden Bailey, and NSRI Jeffreys Bay station commander Rieghard Janse van Rensburg, were seen after today's rescue operation. Hayden was rescued by the NSRI team 2 nautical miles off-shore of Jeffreys Bay this morning.
Photo: NSRI/ RRAD Photography