Stop Press!! Missing dive master found drifting in the sea

Jean-Pierre Els, the dive master of African Dive Adventures who went missing this morning (26h February) was located by Transnet National Ports Authority’s rescue helicopter at 3. 20 pm off-shore of Port Edward today,

The 20 year-old Els from Uvongo, Shelley Beach, was located approximately 45 kms (24 nautical miles) from where he originally went missing.  Els did not emerge from the charter dive which took place about 5 nautical miles off-shore of Shelly Beach, on the Kwa-Zulu Natal South Coast, at Protea Banks.

“It appears that he was separated from the dive charter group at 8 am while diving and when he surfaced from the dive he had no sight of the dive charter boat,” Mark Harlen, NSRI Shelly Beach station commander, said. He drifted for over 7 hours in the 2-3 meter rough sea swell and a 30 knot wind until he was found.


“An NSRI rescue swimmer was deployed into the water from the rescue helicopter to secure Els who was then winch hoisted into the rescue helicopter and airlifted to shore to our NSRI Shelly Beach rescue base,” Harlen said:

“Despite exhaustion, dehydration and some sunburn he is not injured and he will not require to be hospitalised.

“In total we deployed the Transnet National Ports Authority rescue helicopter, 2 NSRI Shelly Beach sea rescue craft, 1 NSRI Port Edward sea rescue craft and there were 5 private boats assisting in the search. (Two of the private boats assisting in the operation are also from African Dive Adventures).

“NSRI commend all involved in this sea rescue operation for their cooperation and assistance.”

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