NSRI Richards Bay tow capsized ski boat to shore

NSRI Richards Bay towed a 17-foot ski boat to shore after a wave capsized it,  throwing the three crew members into the sea yesterday, 6 July.

The crew set off flares alerting a boat Captain Time that came to their rescue.

Cornel du Toit, NSRI Richards Bay station commander, said  at 2.28 pm volunteer sea rescue duty crew were activated following a request for assistance from the Meerensee Boat Club safety officer. It was reported that a ski boat with three local men on board capsized 10 nautical miles off-shore of Richards Bay.  Two boats were reported to be in attendance and the three men had been rescued and were safe.

“We launched our sea rescue craft Spirit of Richards Bay and responded to the scene.  The crew of Time Out were participating in the Meerensee Boat Club 21 Species Fishing Competition when their boat capsized.”


While at anchor a wave swamped the boat and while attempting to cut the anchor chain, a second wave overturned the boat, landing the crew in the water. They retrieved their emergency capsize kit and while hanging onto the upturned hull, waited until they could physically see another boat in the vicinity before firing off a red distress flare.

The flare was spotted by two boats,  On Fire and Captain Time whose crew were also participating in the fishing competition. The boats went to the rescue and plucked the men out of the sea.

“Sea conditions were 2 to 3 meter choppy sea swells and a 25 knot North Easterly wind,” du Toit said. “The men had been in the water for about 25 minutes before being rescued.  The men, Leon Vorster, 38, Riaan Steyn, 34, and Gawie Stolz, 37, safe, warm and uninjured on the boat Captain Time that took them ashore.

“We put NSRI rescue swimmers in the water and despite rope, debris and flotsam in the water around the boat, we used our sea rescue craft to right the capsized boat and we took her under tow to shore. The rescue operation was completed by 4.37 pm.”


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