NSRI urges boaters to carry safety equipment

The NSRI urges  all small boat fishermen to carry safety equipment following the lucky escape of  three young men out fishing in a tiny boat off Pringle Bay yesterday.

The  motor fell off the boat, the passengers had no safety equipment or lifejackets , no distress flares and their cell phones were in the their cars at the Pringle Bay car park.

They were found drifting 1 km off Pringle Bay following a search party that included the SAP, the NSRI , other emergency personnel and some fishermen.

A concerned girlfriend of one of the men raised the alarm when the boat did not return to shore at the scheduled time.

She called Kleinmond Police reporting that the men had launched out to sea , veering left, on a small wooden boat,  small enough to fit on the back of a Corsa Bakkie,  and which had a small outboard motor.  The men aged 20, 22 and 23, (two from Kleinmond and one from Bellville had only taken a 2 liter coke bottle filled with fuel and had no way of raising an alarm. 

They launched at 2 pm on 15 September 2012 to go fishing for Hottentot fish and were expected back at about 3.30 pm.  When they had not returned by 5 pm she called for help. 

Police patrol vehicles  went to the launch site  but could not sfind the men so they alerted the NSRI Gordon’s Bay volunteer duty crew who launched their sea rescue craft Jack Riley. NSRI Simonstown also launched their sea rescue craft Spirit of Safmarine III and a WC Government Health Emergency Medical Services (EMS) rescue squad, the EMS Skymed rescue helicopter and an NSRI Gordon’s Bay 4×4 rescue vehicle responded.

 In addition police asked some fishermen to assist and these fishermen set off in their boat  to also search. The men were found at Maas Bay. 

The men said  with no motor or paddles they were left to the mercy of the sea. Fortunately for them sea conditions were calm yesterday with no strong off-shore winds.

The men were towed to Pringle Bay by the fishermen’s boat, arriving  just before 6 pm.  All sea rescue and emergency personnel then stood down and returned to their bases.

NSRI says people going out to sea on a boat, particularly small craft, should let a responsible person know their departure time, their exact route and their anticipated return time.

They should have on board red distress flares, communications devices, water-proof torches a referee whistle and a signaling mirror or CD discs and should wear life-jackets at all times while on the water.

(Edited)

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