NSRI rescues 11 trapped on river island

2012-11-11 18:52

Durban - The NSRI rescued 11 people trapped on an island in the flooded Umfolozi River between Mtubatuba and St Lucia on Sunday.

NSRI Richards Bay senior coxswain Dorian Robertson said the people - all of them locals - had crossed a bridge over the river in the morning to work. However, when they wanted to go back, the bridge had washed away and the land where they'd been working, had been cut off from the mainland.

"We suspect that rainfall at the catchment area, further up river, had caused the river to flood," said Robertson.

They'd alerted the local chief and he, in turn, had contacted the police to raise the alarm.

Robertson says the NSRI's 4x4 sea rescue vehicle, towing their rescue craft, and the police negotiated a rural track road to get to the scene. 

But once there, they were faced with a steep, barely accessible bank leading into the river.

"So the 20 other locals [who gone to the scene to see if they could help] cut a path for us, using their pangas.

"Then they helped to carry our sea rescue craft down to the river where it was launched."

Robertson said they'd dropped off one NSRI rescuer on the island and in 5 relays they'd taken all 11 people - and a dog - across the river to safety.

"The locals then helped us to recover our boat by carrying it up the steep embankment."

  • warren.nel.942 - 2012-11-11 20:14

    Well done NSRI. Another good job done.

  • simphiwempheni.mdluli - 2012-11-11 22:03

    I'm surprised that there's no water on our taps right now while our river is flooding. It's like we don't have municipality

      Mtuba4u - 2012-11-12 22:32

      Simphiwepheni : water in the river is part one, the more difficult part is running pumps, cleaning water, looking after broken pipes, closing taps and good water management by people so no water wastage takes place. In Mtubatuba water wastage is a big problem and broken pipes that are not reported does not help. when there are so many leaks and the people on the ground keep quite because they think the municipality is bad or corrupt is also a big concern. It will take many years to fix the peoples thinking, especially because the ANC likes to make things difficult for others.

  • pws69 - 2012-11-12 07:10

    Awesome to see what can be achieved when people work together! Well done to the NSRI and well done to the community members that helped them!

  • gail.hayesbean - 2012-11-12 10:17

    A heartwarming story which shows that we are all human and need one another and can work together in our beautiful country. To all who played a role in assisting the marooned folk - well done, we're proud of you. Simphiwe the reason you have no water is because funds which were allocated to build bridges and supply water were diverted from your municipalitys to build R1,5 billion roads to Nkandla plus add extensions to your President's private residence. Perhaps you should go and apply there and ask. He is very charming and will tell you he will see to it and then forget you as soon as you leave. You might get lucky tho at the moment as we are getting near election time and he needs your vote.

      tony.angel.3975 - 2012-11-12 10:34

      Ijust love your comment Gail!!!

  • Mtuba4u - 2012-11-12 22:27

    Great story with a happy ending... Thanx NSRI for your hard work and dedication to doing what is right.

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