French tourist stranded on Robben Island while windsurfing

2017-12-26 22:22
Robben Island. (iStock)

Robben Island. (iStock)

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Pretoria - A French tourist who went windsurfing in the Blouberg area in Cape Town, had to paddle to Robben Island after winds suddenly dropped in the area and he couldn't return. 

The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) launched a rescue craft on Tuesday afternoon, initiating a search for the 38-year-old, who had left with a hired windsurfer at 11:00 and failed to return.

After there was no sign of the man, the Western Cape Government Health Emergency Services dispatched a rescue helicopter, said NSRI spokesperson Craig Lambinon. 

"During an extensive search NSRI [was] contacted by Robben Island security who reported that a windsurfer had come ashore at Robben Island at 16:30." 

NSRI and the rescue helicopter both they had found the man. 

"The wind had suddenly dropped at 15:00 and unable to get the sail up, and finding himself closer to Robben Island than to Mainland, he paddled to Robben Island and sought help," Lambinon said.

Lambinon said Skymed airlifted the man to the NSRI base in Melkbosstrand, where he was reunited with his family.

*This story has been updated to reflect that the man was windsurfing, not kite surfing. 

Read more on:    cape town

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