NSRI rescue French sailor, search for children on Christmas Day

NSRI crew members were extremely busy on Christmas Day, 25 December 2012, assisting in crisis situations countrywide. A few of the highlights included rescuing a French sailor after his yacht sank, rescuing a 14 year-old boy and searching in the sea for a six year-old girl who went missing.


At 3 am on Christmas Day NSRI Mykonos volunteers were called out following a call for assistance from a 58 year-old local Paternoster man who was alone in a Crayfish bakkie (small boat) and lost in thick mist off Paternoster.
Mykonos station commander Gerard Brune said that the duty crew towed a rescue runner, TNPA Rescuer One, and 5,5 metre rescue boat, Gemini Rescuer II, to Paternoster and launched at first light.
At 8.30 the man was found by the NSRI volunteers safely in his boat two miles off Paternoster. The mist was starting to lift as the rescue craft escorted him back to Paternoster.
later, the Mykonos duty crew was busy washing down the two rescue craft at their base when, at 11 am, they were approached by the family of a 55 year-old Paradise Beach resident who said his jet ski had mechanical failure one mile off Paradise Beach.
The NSRI volunteers again launched TNPA Rescuer One and responded to the scene 1,5 nautical miles north of the Mykonos Rescue base. The man’s jet ski could not be restarted and he was safely towed to shore by TNPA Rescuer One.
At 5.30 pm the NSRI Mykonos volunteers were called out for the third time, this time for a kite surfer who’s family reported him to be in difficulty off Lientjies Klip caravan Park. 
TNPA Rescuer One was launched and the kite was soon located but the kite surfer was not with it. Because of the wind conditions searching was difficult.
Luckily a holiday maker at the caravan site could see the man swimming for shore and was able to guide the rescue craft to him. The 36 year-old Tableview man was in good spirits when he was rescued about 500 metres from the shore and did not need any further assistance.
At 7.45 volunteers from NSRI Table Bay launched the Spirit of Vodacom to evacuate a 49 year-old French sailor from the oil tanker Maria which rescued him after his yacht sank off Luderitz.
The Captain of the Maria was directed to the position of the yacht Yumapi by Cape Town’s Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC).
This was after the sailor was forced to abandon his yacht when it sank after hitting a submerged container 400 miles west of Luderitz.
He had activated his emergency PLB ( Personal Locator Beacon) on 22 December and was in a life raft for 18 hours before the 274 metre oil tanker got to him. The duty crew from the Table Bay Sea Rescue base went along side the tanker 12 miles off Cape Town in calm conditions this morning at 8.30 am and brought the sailor back to Table Bay. He has been handed into the care of immigration officials.


 At 4.40 pm NSRI Wilderness volunteers were called out for a 14 year-old boy caught in a rip current at Wilderness.

 According to Wilderness Duty Coxswain, Garth Dominy, three lifesavers swam out to the boy and swam him to the safe zone behind the wave back line where they waited for the Sea Rescue boat between Wilderness main beach and Leentjies Klip.

 The Wilderness duty crew, who were at the station at the time, launched their 4,2 metre rescue boat Serendipity and brought the boy, who is on holiday from Limpopo, safely back to the beach.

 Netcare 911, ER24 and the local METRO ambulance service also responded. The child has been transported to George provincial hospital in a stable condition where he will be observed for secondary drowning.


 At 17h34 NSRI Bakoven and NSRI Table Bay volunteers were called to Three Anchor Bay for a six year-old girl who was washed off the rocks close to Three Anchor Bay Beach. 

 The rescue boats Rotarian Schipper (from Bakoven) and Rotary Endeavor (from Table Bay) were launched to search for the girl. Rescue divers from Roeland Street Fire Department the WC Government Health EMS AMS rescue helicopter Skymed as well as SAPS divers METRO divers, Law enforcement and traffic officials also responded.

 According to Bakoven NSRI station commander, Bruce Davidson, witnesses saw the child being washed off the rocks. The SAP, METRO and Fire and Rescue Divers as well as NSRI swimmers searched until 8.40 pm. The search was called off in fading light and has been handed over to the SAP who will resume searching at 7.30 pm today (Tuesday 26 December).


All articles edited or written, all photos taken plus all adverts designed by the Editor and printed in the St Francis Chronicle are protected by the law of Copyright ©.  Reproduction or copying of any part of the contents of this newspaper and its concept and design can only be done with the Editor’s written permission.

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