Three hikers swept out to sea in Plett

Three hikers were swept out to sea  through the Bloukrans River Mouth while crossing the river this morning.

They were on the Otter Trail with five other hikers The latter made it safely across but the current swept three of them (2 women and one man) out to sea.

Deon Truter, NSRI Plettenberg Bay station commander, said at 9.15 am, 10 January 2013, NSRI Plettenberg Bay volunteer sea rescue duty crew were activated following reports of the plight of the three hikers. “It appears that 8 hikers (3 males and 5 females) all from Salt River tried to cross the Bloukrans River.

“Our NSRI Plettenberg Bay volunteer sea rescue duty crew launched our sea rescue craft Leonard Smit and responded. Sea conditions were rough with a 4 to 5 meter swells.

On arrival on-scene NSRI volunteers found five of the hikers safely on the other side of the river. The remaining 3 hikers, who were swept further out to sea, had managed to reach some rocks and had clambered onto them.

“In the rough sea conditions our sea rescue boat was not able to rescue them off the rocks and the WC Government Health EMS rescue helicopter – Skymed 2 – was activated.

“On arrival on-scene an NSRI rescue swimmer, Robert Gibson, was taken on board Skymed 2 and he was winch hoisted from the helicopter onto the rocks. From there he secured the three casualties and successfully winch hoisted them into the Skymed 2 rescue helicopter. They were then brought safely to shore  and reunited with their friends.”

No one was injured. The hiking back packs of the 3 who were swept out to sea have been lost at sea.

(edited)

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