Reliability, Performance, Compliance


South African paddle boarder saved after firing flares

Simons town NSRI

An injured South African paddle boarder has been saved from rough seas after passers-by spotted flares and alerted rescuers off the Cape Town coast.

The alarm was initially raised by three paddle boarders who had been separated from a colleague out at sea between Romans Rock Lighthouse and Millers Point, in Simon’s Town.

The local National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) was asked to help by the Transnet National Ports Authority, says station commander Darren Zimmerman.

The NSRI’s sea rescue craft, Spirit of Safmarine III and Spirit of Surfski II as well as a sea rescue vehicle responded. WC Government Health EMS and Cape Medical Response were placed on alert.

The NSRI’s network of coast watchers was alerted and reported seeing red distress flares off-shore between Simon’s Town and Millers Point. Other flares were seen around 3kilometres out to sea, as six had been set off.

A member of the public using binoculars spotted the paddler in distress, but in the rough sea conditions lost sight of the man.

A compass bearing was relayed to the NSRI Simon’s Town Operations Room and the sea rescue craft headed in that direction.

The sea rescue craft found the paddle boarder, a 47-year-old local man, who had capsized his surf-ski and was gradually being swept further out to sea by an off-shore wind.

He capsized following a wind squall and injured his arm which prevented him to get back onto his surf-ski and he drifted. He stayed with his surf-ski and set off the distress flares.

The man was put onto the sea rescue craft and treated for hypothermia and an arm injury.

NSRI commended the coast watchers who were able to quickly pinpoint the position of the red flares and the many community members who called in the red distress flare sightings.

The image is courtesy of Simon’s Town NSRI’s Facebook page.

Jul 06, 2018