Swimmer and dog feared drowned, kayakers rescued

12 October 2020 - 07:53 By TimesLIVE
Members of the National Sea Rescue Institute will continue the search for a man who went missing while swimming at Mnandi Beach in Cape Town. File Photo.
Members of the National Sea Rescue Institute will continue the search for a man who went missing while swimming at Mnandi Beach in Cape Town. File Photo.
Image: Flickr/NSRI

A Cape Town man is feared to have drowned and a family has lost a pet in two beach accidents reported on Sunday, and two couples on a Table Bay yacht are credited with helping to save kayakers in distress.

The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) said a man, believed to be from Khayelitsha, went missing in the surf while swimming at Mnandi Beach. A search was activated at about 2pm.

Vaughn Seconds, NSRI Strandfontein station commander, said the man went missing about 50m off-shore in the surf line.

“Despite an extensive air, sea and shoreline search, there is no sign of the missing man. Attempts to locate his family are continuing.

“A police dive unit are due to follow up on Monday and a search operation and investigations will continue.”

In East London, the NSRI said a boxer dog is missing and suspected to have drowned at Orient Beach.

Geoff McGregor, NSRI East London station commander, said a local family reported their dog had gone missing off rocks on the shoreline on Sunday morning. This after their two boxer dogs had been playing on shoreline rocks.

Dog swept off rocks

“NSRI East London sea rescue craft and shoreline crew were diverted from routine training to respond to Orient Beach, where a search was initiated for the dog, which is suspected to have been swept off the rocks into the surf.

“Despite an extensive search, the missing dog has not been found.”

In Table Bay, the swift reaction of two couples on the yacht Savannah contributed to saving the lives of a man and a woman who had capsized on their sea kayak on Sunday, near Robben Island.

Marc de Vos, NSRI Table Bay station commander, said  duty controllers were alerted at 3.48pm on Sunday when an urgent marine VHF radio communications was sent from the yacht to the Telkom Maritime Radio Services.

The yacht Savannah requested urgent medical assistance for a 32-year-old male and a 29-year-old female after the four crew members found the couple in the water near Robben Island.

“The yacht crew rescued both casualties from the water after hearing their cries for help. On investigating they found the two in the water and hanging onto their waterlogged double sea kayak.”

Both were exhausted and hypothermic.

Yacht crew commended

“The two kayakers may have been in the 9ºC water for at least an hour,” said the NSRI.

After receiving medical treatment from the yacht crew, NSRI medics and ER24, both are in stable conditions.

“The skipper and crew of Savannah are commended for their swift actions that contributed to saving the lives of the two casualties, and for displaying master seamanship during this urgent emergency operation,” said the NSRI.

“Had they not been discovered by the Savannah crew, there was no other marine traffic in the area and a south-easterly offshore wind was gradually increasing.”

The NSRI appealed to paddlers, sail boarders and boaters to download and use the free NSRI RSA SafeTrx app and carry safety equipment — properly fitting seaworthy life-jackets, a cellphone fully charged in a water tight plastic sleeve with the NSRI emergency numbers programmed into the phone, referee whistles and red distress flares.

“In an emergency, activate the emergency procedures on the NSRI RSA SafeTrx app, set off red distress flares and use the referee whistle to attract the attention of passing or nearby boats.”