Police, SA Air Force and NSRI rescue Vanderbijlpark family of 6 trapped in home by flash flood

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A family of six was rescued from a flash flood in Vanderbijlpark by Police Search and Rescue, SA Air Force and NSRI teams.
A family of six was rescued from a flash flood in Vanderbijlpark by Police Search and Rescue, SA Air Force and NSRI teams.
PHOTO: IPSS
  • A Vanderbijlpark family of six was rescued from a flash flood at their home.
  • Two of the family members were airlifted to safety.
  • The NSRI, which took part in the rescue operation, has warned Vaal residents to be careful of flooding following heavy downpours.


A family of six has been rescued from a flash flood in Vanderbijlpark.

The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) received a report of the flood at the Riet River on Loch Vaal on Saturday morning, which had stranded a family in their home.

"Our NSRI rescue vehicle, carrying our NSRI Croc and towing our NSRI Discovery Rescue Runner, was dispatched. On arrival on the scene, we were met by Police Search and Rescue who had already managed to safely rescue four of the six residents from the house by wading them through the swollen river," said NSRI Vaal Dam station commander Jake Manten.

However, an elderly couple remained stranded in a house, with rapidly flowing waters rising.

Airlifted to safety

"We launched our Discovery Rescue Runner, accompanied by police divers, to attempt to rescue the couple from the house, but submerged and semi-submerged long farmland grass hampered efforts to reach them and the couple were unable to wade through the barely accessible flooded terrain," Manten said.

Rescue crews requested assistance from the SA Air Force, and the couple was airlifted to safety.

"They were medically assessed by paramedics and loaded into an ambulance and we believe they were transported to hospital as a precaution for treatment for shock. The rescue operation was completed at 13:40," he said.

The NSRI is appealing to communities along the rivers and dams in the Vaal area to be vigilant for flash floods during heavy rainfall.


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