Busy Easter weekend for NSRI

2013-04-01 11:00

The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) was kept busy during the Easter weekend as it responded to various incidents of drowning, struggling boats and false alarms, the institute has said.

Yesterday at about 4pm, the NSRI responded to an incident where a man almost drowned in Amatikulu River outside Richards Bay in KwaZulu-Natal.

Cornel du Toit, the NSRI commander in Richards Bay, said they received an alert from ambulance services that there was a drowning on Amatikulu River, 70km from Richards Bay.

“On arrival on-scene paramedics treated a man for near drowning symptoms and our NSRI sea rescue craft ferried three local males across the river who had swum to the other side of the river but could not get back through the swollen river,” said Du Toit.

He said the man treated by paramedics for near drowning symptoms got into difficulties while swimming across the river.

The man chose not to go to hospital following treatment on scene, said Du Toit.

On Friday, the NSRI at Shelly Beach was activated at mid day to assist a dive charter boat on which a 29-year-old Brazilian woman had hurt her back when the boat went over a wave.

Mark Harlen, the NSRI Shelly Beach station commander, said the woman was immobilised on-scene, behind the breaker line, just off Shelly Beach, and was brought to Shelly Beach into the care of paramedics.

An hour later, NSRI crew responded in the same area to assist another charter boat which suffered motor failure while coming back from the charter dive.

“We took five people off their boat to lighten the load and they came in safely ... in on our sea rescue craft,” said Harlen.

The NSRI crew assisted a fishing boat which also had a motor failure.

The boat was towed to shore safely.

On Saturday in Durban, the NSRI was called after reports that two people had fallen out of a canoe in the harbour around 7.30pm.

Prior to arriving on the scene, the Transnet National Ports Authority confirmed that both people had been picked up by a private boat and that they were safe, said Clifford Ireland, the NSRI Durban station commander.

Yesterday the NSRI was called to Port Edward in KwaZulu-Natal in Umtamvuma River to help locals cross the flooded river.

The group of locals were then assisted to cross the river after the river had subsided.

The NSRI were called by police to the same area where man was suspected to having difficulty in the river. It was discovered that the alert was a false alarm, about 5am.

Two hours later, the NSRI responded to reports of a person swept off the bridge at the Tongaat River but on arrival that was also found to be a false alarm.

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