Engine failures and capsized boats keep NSRI busy in W.Cape

Three NSRI stations in the Western Cape have been involved in sea rescues this weekend to assist with a  yacht with a failed engine, to assist with a crayfrish boat with engine failure and another crayfish boat that capsized with three adults and a six year-old boy on board.


NSRI Yzerfontein volunteers were called out for the five metre ski boat Seeduiker that had capsized while crayfishing on the south side of Dassen Island with three adults and a six year old boy aboard at 9.53 am today, 23 December.


According to Yzerfonteing station commander, Rudi Rogers, Seeduiker was caught by a swell and capsized close to the island.


The three adults were thrown clear during the capsize but the child was caught in an air pocket in the cabin area. He was wearing a lifejacket and was pulled free by the crew after a few minutes when Seeduiker’s windscreen broke.

Yzerfontein NSRI duty crew launched their rescue boat Rotary Onwards and responded to Dassen island. When the Sea Rescue volunteers arrived on scene they found that all four people were safe and having coffee at the lighthouse. 

After assessing the patients the NSRI volunteers secured the capsized boat, which was hard aground, and then took the four casualties aboard Rotary Onward and transported them back to Yzerfontein. 

The boy had a cut above his right eye and bruised legs, and one crewman had a cut above his right eye. All refused transport to hospital but agreed to take the child to hospital to be monitored for secondary drowning.

Then at 2.11 pm as the NSRI duty crew were refueling Rotary Onwards, they were called to search for a six metre rigid inflatable boat with two teenagers and two adults aboard which was lost in thick fog off Yzerfontein. 

Rudi Rogers, Yzerfontein station commander, spoke to them via cell phone and asked them to set up a radar reflector and to fire a red distress flare when NSRI volunteers were in position at Lookout Point and the sea rescue boat was about to launch.

Unfortunately cell phone contact was then lost. The NSRI volunteers searched in dense fog, shifting their search to south of Yzerfontein harbour when the fog in the area to the north lifted.

The NSRI volunteers were surprised when they got a call from the Yzerfontein harbour master saying that the vessel that they were searching for had come into Yzerfontein harbour and had failed to alert NSRI that they were safe.

“ Any boats going out to sea should have a woking GPS and VHF radio as well as radar reflectors and the other standard safety equipment,” said Yzerfontein station commander Rudi Rogers.


 NSRI Simons Town volunteers were called out following a call for assistance from the yacht Finesse, becalmed four nautical miles south of Roman Rock in False Bay a in the early evening on 22 December.


Simons Town Sea Rescue boat Spirit of Safmarine III was launched at 5.45 pm and towed the yacht, with her six crew aboard, back to the mooring in Simons Town.

Darren Zimmermann, Simons Town station commander, said  Finesse had engine failure and was thus unable to motor back to the yacht club mooring herself. As the yacht club ferry had finished for the day Spirit of Safmarine III gave the six yachts crew a ride back to shore after they had moored their vessel. 


 NSRI Kommetjie volunteers were called out to assist a 4,5 metre Crayfish bakkie (small Crayfish boat) named Blessings which had engine failure off Hoek Van Bobijan at Cape Point a 2.15 pm on 22 December .

According to Kommetjie station commander Tom Coetzee, there was a three metre swell running and a north westerly wind of 32 Kmh. 

The Kommetjie Sea Rescue boat Spirit of Winelands towed Blessings, with three Oceanview men (59, 38 and 24 years old) onboard, safely back to the Soetwater slip way.

The NSRI is urging everyone launching a craft to wear a life-jacket. Always have your safety kit attached to your life jacket. It should include red distress pencil flares, a signaling mirror or CD disc, a referees whistle, a waterproof torch and a cellphone in a water tight sleeve.

Photos: NSRI



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