Search and rescue mission launched as swimmer goes missing at sea

Durban – A search and rescue operation has been launched in Richards Bay, KwaZulu-Natal following reports that a 20-year-old local disappeared in the surf on Friday.

National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) and the Police’s search and rescue unit responded to reports of two people drowning at Port Dunford on Friday afternoon just after 17:00.

“On arrival on the scene it was confirmed that a 20-year-old local man had disappeared in the surf at around 11:00 but the incident appears to have gone unreported,” the NSRI said in a statement.

“No sign of the man was found in a shoreline search and police will continue with an ongoing search operation. Police have opened an investigation.”

On Saturday morning just before 01:00, the NSRI – also in Richards Bay – was alerted to a distress call from a yacht reporting to be taking water and with no motor power and adrift.

Yacht crew rescue

There were six crew on board and they were roughly seven nautical miles (13km) off-shore of St Lucia.

“The sea rescue craft Spirit of Richards Bay was launched and we rendezvoused with the yacht 30 nautical miles from Richards Bay,” said the NSRI.

“They were found sailing on a storm jib and the intake of water had been stemmed and their bilge pumps were coping to extricate water.”

One crewman had sustained crushed fingers, his middle and ring finger were reportedly crushed in a winch a few days ago.
The yacht was taken under tow by sea rescue craft and the injured crewman was tended to by Netcare 911 and ICE medical rescue paramedics before being transported to a nearby hospital.

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In Knysna, the NSRI launched the sea rescue craft to respond to End Benches, Eastern Head, where two anglers who were tapped on rocks after being cut off from mainland by the high tide.

“A deep gully between the rocks they were fishing on prevented the two Cape Town anglers from getting across to mainland.

“On arrival on the scene our NSRI rescue swimmers were deployed from the sea rescue craft and both men and their fishing tackle were swum to our sea rescue craft and brought to shore without incident,” the NSRI added.

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