Two rescued drifting in sea

2016-03-01 06:00

Two paddlers have been rescued after capsizing near Simon’s Town.

On Sunday afternoon, National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) Simon’s Town was notified by Transnet National Ports Authority that two paddlers on a double surf-ski, travelling around Millers Point, were almost two hours overdue.

The two paddlers had last been seen approaching Roman Rock.

The NSRI crew began a search, in 2 to 3m sea swells and a 45-knot south easterly wind, from their last known sighting.

A surf-ski, without the two paddlers, was sighted off Glencairn.

The sea rescue craft went to investigate more closely. Both paddlers were found clinging onto the paddle craft.

Both were on the sea side of the paddle craft, so watchers on the shore had not been able to spot them.

An NSRI swimmer went into the water and found the men had tied themselves to their craft in their effort to not be separated from it.

The rescue swimmer untied them and both men were rescued.

They were both suffering from extreme hypothermia.

It was estimated that they had been in the water for an hour and forty minutes after capsizing near Roman Rock.

Not being able to re-board their surf-ski, they had drifted in a north easterly direction for about one nautical mile before being rescued.

The men had set off red pencil distress flares, which had not been seen from shore.

The NSRI is urging paddlers and boaters to download its free app, RSA Safe Trx, which allows a paddler or boater’s journey to be tracked.

It has an emergency button to alert sea rescue authorities of a person’s distress call and position to assist a speedy rescue.

NSRI also urges paddlers and boaters to wear the appropriate, brightly coloured gear for the sea conditions, wear a properly fitting life jacket and carry red distress flares, distress smoke markers and an emergency space blanket.

They should also have a fully charged cellphone in a water-tight plastic sleeve with the NSRI’s app downloaded on the cellphone and with the sea rescue emergency contact numbers programmed into the phone.

Another tip: Let a responsible person know your departure time and return time and your exact route. Stick to your planned route and let that responsible person know of your safe return.

If you are overdue the responsible person looking out for you should alert sea rescue authorities without any delay.

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