Four men rescued from capsized boat after man swims to shore to get help


Four men rescued from capsized boat after man swims to shore to get help

TMG Digital | 2017-02-05 16:24:50.0

Members of the National Sea Rescue Institute in action. File Photo.

Image by: Flickr/NSRI

Four fishermen were rescued after their boat capsized in False Bay in the Western Cape on Sunday after a fellow fisherman swam almost a kilometre to shore to get help.

Two men fishing on Macassar Beach‚ Ismail Moolla and Zain Mohammed‚ from Kenilworth‚ alerted the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) on Sunday morning after the exhausted and hypothermic man‚ 57-year-old Peter Wolmarans‚ swam ashore.

Wolmarans told them that his six-metre boat Fire Bird‚ which he and his four fellow fishermen had launched from Harbour Island in Gordon’s Bay earlier in the day‚ had capsized offshore of Macassar.

Moola said at first they had thought Wolmarans was just going for a swim and that‚ on seeing him swimming towards their fishing lines in the water‚ they had shouted to him to be careful. But they had then realised that he appeared to be in trouble and had both waded into the chest-deep water to assist him.

They could see the capsized vessel‚ and four men hanging on to the upturned hull of the boat.

NSRI duty crews from Strandfontein‚ Simonstown and Gordons Bay and emergency services responded to the scene. A police helicopter carrying police divers and a rescue helicopter also arrived on the scene to assist in the rescue of the stranded fishermen – brothers Jacques and Ruaan Brits‚ and Jack and Nicholas Meyer‚ who are also brothers.

“The Skymed rescue helicopter‚ following a brief search‚ located the upturned hull of the boat with four men hanging onto the upturned hull of the boat‚” explained NSRI Strandfontein station commander Vaughn Seconds.

“Metro EMS rescue diver Andrew Holms was deployed from the helicopter into the water where he confirmed that despite exhaustion and hypothermia 3 of the 4 men were reasonably okay and one man was suffering extreme exhaustion and hypothermia.

“Andrew secured all 4 men and the first sea rescue craft from NSRI Strandfontein arrived on the scene shortly followed by the NSRI Simonstown sea rescue craft and NSRI Gordons Bay sea rescue craft.

“A police diver was then deployed into the surf from the police helicopter and together with the Metro EMS rescue diver and the NSRI crews all 4 casualties were rescued onto sea rescue craft where treatment for exhaustion and hypothermia commenced and they were transported aboard the NSRI Simonstown sea rescue craft‚ Spirit of Safmarine III‚ to Gordons Bay sea rescue base where they were met by GBMED security ambulance‚ WC Government Health EMS ambulance and ER24 ambulance.

“Paramedics continued medical treatment to the 4 men at the NSRI Gordons Bay base before all 4 men were declared fit and no further medical assistance was required‚” Seconds said.

According to the men they were at anchor fishing when the back of their boat filled with water and capsized not giving them time to raise the alarm by radio and not having time to recover their capsize kit with their red distress flares. Wolmarans then made the decision to swim to shore to raise the alarm.

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