NSRI Simonstown launched the sea rescue craft SPIRIT OF SAFMARINE III at 6.29am following reports of a boat suspected to be in difficulty off-shore of Smitswinkel Bay, Cape Point, the institute said in a statement.
The EMS/AMS Skymed rescue helicopter, the SA Police Service (SAPS), and Table Mountain National Park rangers also responded. On arrival on the scene a rigid inflatable boat (RIB) was found floating on the water in the bay, but despite an extensive air, sea, and land search no people were found and a report that six people had abandoned the RIB at sea was being investigated by the SAPS.
There were no reports of anyone missing or overdue in the area, and the RIB had been recovered and taken away by police. In another incident, at 12.20pm, NSRI Table Bay launched the sea rescue craft SPIRIT OF VODACOM and ROTARY ENDEAVOUR, and NSRI Melkbosstrand dispatched a sea rescue vehicle and launched the sea rescue craft MENS HEALTH RESCUER in front of Doodles Restaurant, Bloubergstrand, following eye-witness reports of a paddler or a kite-surfer appearing to be in difficulty in the surf.
The EMS/AMS Skymed rescue helicopter and Table View Neighbourhood Watch also responded. Despite an extensive air, sea, and shore search no sign of a paddler or a kite-surfer in any difficulty was found and it was suspected that the paddler or kite surfer might have appeared to be in difficulty but came ashore out of sight of the eyewitness.
No reports of any person overdue or missing in the area had been reported, the NSRI said. NSRI Hout Bay, while conducting routine skipper/coxswain training with NSRI duty coxswains from other upcountry sea rescue stations, responded at 2.30pm following reports from the Hout Bay Neighbourhood Watch Control Room, Watchcon, of a person fallen into the Hout Bay Harbour next to Mariners Wharf Restaurant.
NSRI Hout Bay’s sea rescue craft NADINE GORDIMER diverted from the training exercise and on arrival on the scene found a 48-year-old local man hanging onto rope between two fishing trawlers in the harbour.
NSRI Mossel Bay rescue swimmer Jeremiah Meintjes was deployed into the water from the sea rescue craft and the man, suffering hypothermia and near drowning symptoms, was rescued onto the NSRI craft.
NSRI CEO Dr Cleeve Robertson, who was on board the sea rescue craft at the time assisting with the coxswain training, treated the patient and the patient was brought to shore and transported to hospital in a stable condition by a Western Cape government Emergency Medical Services (EMS) ambulance for observation for secondary drowning.
It appeared that a scuffle had broken out between two men on the harbour pier and during the scuffle one man fell into the water. Local security were investigating an incident between two men, the NSRI said.