Surf skiers safe after struggle in heavy seas

2014-11-17 00:00

FIVE novice surf-skiers narrowly avoided disaster and were lucky to be washed ashore as gales battered Durban at the weekend.

Volunteers from the National Sea Rescue Institute had rushed to aid the paddlers — all from around Durban — when an eye witness reported they had been seen clinging to a jet-ski off Virginia Beach.

NSRI station commander Clifford Ireland said that reports of the distressed surf-skiers had flooded in.

“The Durban duty crew were activated by the Transnet National Ports Authority following eye-witness reports of five surf-skiers hanging onto a jet-ski off-shore of Virginia Beach and appearing to be in difficulty in a 35 knot South Westerly wind,” he said.

“While preparing to launch our sea rescue craft, the port authority reported another incident outside of the harbour entrance where a surf-skier was reportedly in difficulty.”

“As we launched our sea rescue craft it was reported that a private jet-ski had launched from Vetch’s Pier and had assisted the surf-skier outside of the harbour entrance and he had been taken to shore safely. Our sea rescue craft continued to respond to Virginia Beach,” he said.

Ireland said that all the surf-skiers were found on the beach uninjured.

“On arrival all five surf-skiers, [middle-aged] men , were found safely washed up on the beach. It appears that a group of developmental surf-skiers had launched their surf-ski’s, but got into difficulty in the strong winds before a man on a jet-ski came to their assistance and managed to get all five closer to shore and they managed to all reach the beach safely … ”. — WR.

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