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Die Galateia slaan om met drie mans aan boord by Die Koppe in Knysna

PAJERO What story will you tell?

I have seen the sun rise over Saharan dunes and set on Pacific waves. I have made my own roads through jungles and over mountains, and triumphed over my rivals in races that stretch the bounds of endurance. I have travelled with the great beasts of the land as they migrate across the savannah, and experienced adventures no words can GRATIS describe. This is my story. This is my legend. I am Pajero. What story will you tell? OPLEIDING

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2016/06/27 2:38 PM

Win an American Tourister suitcase in our giveaway!


Turn to page 4 for details.


02 06


MAGTELOOS! ’n Dramatiese toneel speel hom af by Die Koppe in Knysna. ’n Ooggetuie vertel haar storie






THE LONG HAUL When the solo sailor on board Elbow Grease got into difficulty, it took a mighty group effort to bring him to safety

TRAGEDY AT DIEPSLOOT The drowning deaths affecting our children should be a national concern

CLOSE TO THE HEART A significant reunion for heart patients Adam Klopper and Greg Bertish




RESCUE OFF THE BLUFF Having safety protocols in place meant a speedy rescue for a father and child



TRAGEDIE BY BOKBAAI Hoe gewone mense ’n groot verskil kan maak tydens ’n noodgeval


OUR VERY OWN IRON MAN A new, healthier pace for StatCom Rieghard Janse van Rensburg IN THE NEWS Fundraising drives, events, competitions and station news


AGM We honour our volunteers and supporters


LIFE BOAT CIRCLE News from our retired members, and invitations to join us at a number of events

TRAPPED The SAWDN faced two challenging whale disentanglements in one day


STADIG OOR DIE KLIPPE NSRI Plettenbergbaai bring ’n beseerde stapper na veiligheid


WHAT AN ADVENTURE! Rafting, 4x4ing and hiking for the whole family


BECOME A CITIZEN SCIENTIST How you can assist the study of how climate change is affecting our whales and dolphins







Above: Dr Cleeve Robertson with his mom, Joyce, at a Life boat Circle function.

knew winter was here when I took a huge pine tree across my car during a half-hour storm in April – one of those ‘seeing your life go by’ moments! Thankfully both my wife and I survived tree branch hits during the same storm and we came away unscathed! It illustrates that our weather is getting a bit more fluky and our once-predictable boring climate is going to offer some challenges to our crews as the ‘gobal warming’ years draw on. I’m sure every station commander has this top of mind and is doing everything possible to stay safe out there. Autumn has been an eventful season as we focus on our vision of ‘Saving Lives, Changing Lives, Creating Futures’ with a strong emphasis on drowning prevention! Andrew Ingram is dedicated to this cause, his passion and calling, and has been making great inroads in education and getting our WaterWise programme into the mainstream Basic Education Curriculum. The estimated 2 000 fatal drownings annually (MRC Fatal Injury Report 2009) in South Africa are distributed across both inland and coastal areas, making a preventative strategy difficult. However, we believe that we can and will make a difference if we focus on mothers and small children (under five years), school-going children (six to 12 years), farming communities (dams and rivers), urban communities (dams, rivers, pools and ponds), recreational water users and those who work on water through the following: ›› Educating mothers and early childhood development teachers (minders) ›› Mainstreaming WaterWise in the Basic Education Curriculum ›› WaterWise for farm and urban children ›› Addressing alcohol on farms/beaches/boats ›› Self-rescue devices at dams/rivers (safe river crossing) ›› Providing preventative lifeguarding services ›› Providing responsive lifeguarding and sea rescue services ›› Beach signage (risks and emergency numbers) ›› Flotation of water craft (buoyancy) ›› Continuous wearing of PFDs (personal flotation devices) ›› Emergency communication (flares/cellphones/radios) The key to this will be collaboration and synergy with many partners and organisations. If you belong to an organisation or group with a common interest, give us a call. We’re more than willing to share ideas, materials and intellect. Together we float, divided we sink. Let’s make a difference!

MANAGING EDITOR Wendy Maritz ART DIRECTOR Ryan Manning ADVERTISING Nicholas Lumb EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS Mark Beare, John Morkel EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Susan Newham-Blake ADDRESS PO Box 15054, Vlaeberg 8018 TEL +27 21 ­424 3517 FAX +27 21 424 3612 EMAIL

SEA RESCUE OFFICE +27 21 434 4011 WEB EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: MARKETING AND FUNDRAISING Meriel Bartlett CELL 082 994 7555 EMAIL PUBLIC RELATIONS Megan Hughes CELL 083 443 7319 EMAIL COMMUNICATIONS MANAGER Craig Lambinon CELL 082 380 3800 EMAIL PRODUCED FOR THE NSRI BY The Publishing Partnership (Pty) Ltd, PO Box 15054, Vlaeberg 8018. Copyright: The Publishing Partnership (Pty) Ltd 2016. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited without the prior permission of the editor. Opinions expressed are those of the authors and not the NSRI.


Offers are available while stocks last. REPRODUCTION Hirt & Carter

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CAPE TOWN: NSRI, 1 Glengariff Road, Three Anchor Bay 8001; PO Box 154, Green Point 8051 Tel: +27 21 434 4011 Fax: +27 21 434 1661 Visit our website at or email us at









Thank you to Johan and Elaine Rens for your letter highlighting the important issue of drowning prevention. Your hamper of Slaley wine is on its way to you.


Die Galateia slaan om met drie mans aan boord by Die Koppe in Knysna

Rescue at The Heads, Knysna (see page 6). Cover photograph: Hielke van Leeuwen


e are concerned about the drownings at Cape Vidal every December/January holiday and even during other festive times and long weekends. Cape Vidal is the most popular holiday resort on the North Coast for tourists (all seasons), as well as for ski-boat fishing, snorkelling, swimming and kayak fishing. The problem seems to be that Nature Conservation in that area does not have sufficient funds to train people and buy equipment for beach rescues. We have been visiting Cape Vidal/St Lucia for many years and every time there have been fatal drownings due to lack of the above-mentioned. Over December 2015 we tried to assist in two near-drownings, as well as a third, which was unfortunately fatal. This could have been prevented if even only a rescue paddle ski, or safety buoy was available, because many fit kayak guys as well as swimmers were

available to assist. It was time-consuming to run to the campsite for kayak assistance and help. We understand from the local Nature Conservation officials that even they do not receive any safety equipment or training in basic life support. All these drownings occurred when high tide was changing to low tide and a backwash occurs next to the rock reef in the bay where fishing boats launch. This area is used by holidaymakers and tourists, in particular, for snorkelling. The nearest hospital is at Empangeni, more than two hours’ drive away. If life-savers cannot be on duty on this beach, our suggestions would be that: 1. A trained beach manager be stationed on the beach during holidays and long weekends. 2. A paddle ski and safety buoy be placed on the beach during the day.

This safety equipment can be locked away during the night. 3. A maritime radio could be placed in the office, for contacting possible nearby fishing vessels for assistance in emergencies. 4. Richards Bay NSRI rescue members could assist in co-ordinating the project. The Nature Conservation personnel only caution people but are not swimmers, and therefore are not expected to do rescues. Although they are on the beach monitoring boat launching and catches, it is suggested that the beach manager should be tasked to caution swimmers at this specific area. If funding of the equipment and training seems to be a problem with Nature Conservation, NSRI could maybe launch fundraising in this regard to assist. We see this as a necessity and not a nice-to-have, because of all the drownings. We would appreciate if you could assist and direct this matter through the correct channels. Your assistance and concern can stop the next drowning. JOHAN AND ELAINE RENS


R 2015






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9:38 AM



LETTERS WIN one of 3 American Tourister Suitcases

Above and above right: A crew member is assisted off the MV Tempanos after a severe injury resulting in an open fracture.

CASEVAC OFF MV TEMPANOS I just want to say thank you for what you did on 2 April when two of my crew members were evacuated from our vessel – one with dental problems and the second one with an open fracture. Thank you for your professionalism. It’s amazing to know there are people are out there ready to risk their lives so that others may live. Please give my regards to all staff involved during that day, CAPTAIN BENJAMIN NAME, MV TEMPANOS

Enjoy stylish, high-quality luggage that you can rely on for both business and leisure travel. Ultra-practical, value-added features include a large U-shaped front pocket, cornerprotecting piping, a comfortable integrated top handle, a stitched bumper for base protection, and lockable zippers on the main compartment and front pocket. We have three American Tourister suitcases to give away. To stand a chance of winning one, SMS ‘tourister’, your name, telephone number, and address to 33282 by 30 September 2016. Terms and conditions: 1. The draw is open to all Sea Rescue readers. 2. Entries for the giveaway close on 30 September 2016. 3. The winners will be selected by random draw and informed telephonically. 4. The winners’ names will be printed in the Summer 2016 issue of Sea Rescue magazine. 5. By entering this draw, entrants agree to abide by the rules and conditions of the competition. 6. The judges’ decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into.


THANKS FROM HAKUNA MATATA CREW We sincerely thank the Simon’s Town Sea Rescue team for their kind assistance when we got caught up in fishing nets at Cape Point recently. It is wonderful to know that there are such unselfish people in this world who will come out in the middle of the night to assist boats in distress. You worked as a team and so professionally. Thank you, LAWRENCE THOMAS (SKIPPER), JEAN THOMAS AND MORGAN TIEDT

THANKS TO THE LBC TEAM On behalf of Fish Hoek Probus Club, I would like to thank Elaine for the informative presentation on the NSRI at our recent lunch. Thank you for one of the most balanced presentations we have had. The mix of detail, activity and information on the multiple rescues you so ably described kept our members most enthralled. It was a real pleasure to host you, and we trust that you and the organisation you represent will continue the good work for many years to come. KEITH HAYWARD, ACTING PRESIDENT: FHPC A JOLLY GOOD READ I found the Autumn 2016 issue of Sea Rescue to be one of the best so far. The content mix was great and very interesting. I must admit, like many others, I do and always will prefer the larger format but am slowly getting used to the smaller version. Well done to those concerned! ALLAN CRAMB, MALGAS

NSRI DIRECTORS CEO: Dr Cleeve Robertson EXECUTIVE DIRECTORS: Meriel Bartlett (Fundraising and Marketing), Mark Hughes (Operations), Mark Koning (Finance). GOVERNANCE BOARD: Ronnie Stein (Chairman) MEMBERS: Deon Cloete, Viola Manuel, Chris Nissen, Dave Robins, Rob Stirrat, Randall Titus. OPERATIONAL BOARD MEMBERS: Eddie Noyons (Chairman), Brad Geyser, Dave Roberts, Mike Elliot, Justin Erasmus. HONORARY LIFE GOVERNORS David Abromowitz, Peter Bacon, Allan Cramb, Howard Godfrey, Ian Hamilton, Chris Hudson, Brian Hustler, Ian Strachan, Hennie Taljaard.

Write to us and WIN! Left: In 2005, St Francis Bay crew saved the dog that was to become the Flanders’ beloved pet.

MAN’S BEST FRIEND We contribute monthly to the NSRI, and do so with pleasure. A dog was rescued from the sea off St Francis Bay by the NSRI On 28 September 2005. We were so very grateful for this, but just never had the opportunity to pay back what you gave to us when you did that selfless rescue. We adopted that dog. It was one of the best dogs we ever had. He passed away in 2014. SANDRA FLANDERS GRATEFUL THANKS TO STATION 21 We never dreamt we would in any circumstance be ‘stranded’ at St Francis Bay. It surely is one event in

all our lives we will remember. Thank you to the St Francis NSRI team for your professional and heart-warming hospitality. Thank you, Neil Jones, in particular, for going out of your way to drive us around and for supporting us. Everyone we met was simply amazing… Two other names that come to mind are Lettie from Legends, and Lefran, who also drove us around. SARIE VAN DEN BERG,
 ROCKET CREW On Tuesday 5 April the yacht Rocket was sailing from Cape Town to Durban when they reported a damaged rudder in heavy sea conditions between Plettenberg Bay and Oyster Bay. St Francis Bay crew were on standby to assist.

The writer of the winning letter published in the Summer 2016 issue of Sea Rescue will win a sumptuous hamper of Slaley wines valued at R750. This hamper can also be ordered from Slaley as a promotional gift or for a special occasion. For more information, call (021) 865 2123, visit www.slaley. or pop by and see us on the corner of the R44 and Kromme Rhee Road outside Stellenbosch. Send your letters to Sea Rescue magazine, PO Box 15054, Vlaeberg 8018. (Letters may be shortened, and the winning letter is chosen at the editor’s discretion.)

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MAGTELOOS! Toe die boot Galateia in April by Die Koppe in Knysna omgeslaan het met drie mans aan boord, het elke sekonde getel. Ooggetuie Sulani Schoeman, die bestuurder van die gastehuis Head Over Hills, deel haar indrukke van díe dramatiese toneel wat sy lank nie sal vergeet nie.


Kloksgewys van bo: Hierdie reeks foto’s geneem deur ’n ooggetuie by Head Over Hills gastehuis wys hoe die Galateia in die branders by Die Koppe omgedop word en die bemanning in die rowwe see beland. NSRI Stasie 12 (Knysna) is uitgeroep en het hulle so gou moontlik kom help.


p Saterdagmiddag 30 April 2016, net ná 3nm, het ek met gaste gestaan en praat op die balkon van die gastehuis Head Over Hills. Die see was rof en die deinings groot, met baie wit branders. Die volgende oomblik het van my ander gaste uitgeroep dat ons moet kyk – dit was op daardie oomblik wat ’n groot golf ’n boot omgeslaan het. Ek het gekyk om te sien of die mense wat op die boot was, sigbaar was, maar dit was ’n gesukkel tussen al die wit branders. Ek het dadelik die NSRI gebel om te sê hulle moet uitkom. Na ’n rukkie kon ’n mens twee mense sien wat bo die water uitgekom het. Die boot was onderstebo en is redelik deur die golwe geslaan. Ons het eers ná n ruk agtergekom daar was eintlik drie mense. Een het eenkant toe gedryf saam met die boot, meer na die rotse se kant toe, en die ander twee het bymekaar gebly in die

rowwe golwe. Die boot het begin intrek lagoon se kant toe en so ook die een man. Die mans kon skaars asemskep bo die water, dan het die volgende golf hulle geslaan. Ek het weer die NSRI gebel, want ons kon sien die mans het nou begin sukkel om bo die water te bly. Die twee wat meer in die golwe was, het ook lagoon se kant toe begin beweeg. Die drie mans het op die ou end by mekaar uitgekom in die middel, en die boot was nog steeds teen die rotse vasgeslaan. Jy kon sien hulle was nou uit die ergste van die rowwe golwe, en hulle het probeer swem in lagoon toe. Dit was toe dat die NSRI se boot daar aangekom het en hulle gered het. Die redding het letterlik sekondes gevat vandat ons die boot gesien het. Die omgeslaande boot het ook toe begin wegraak om die rotse na die lagoon se kant toe, want ons kon dit nie meer sien in die water vanwaar ons was nie. Dit was regtig baie erg om te sien hoe mense swaarkry maar jy kan niks daaraan doen nie. Ek hoop om dit nie gou weer te sien nie!’





oe haar oupa op ’n sonnige naweek op die laaste dag van Januarie vir haar sê dit is weer tyd dat sy oefen om sy Land Rover te bestuur, was die nege-jarige Zoey Schmidlin aanvanklik niks lus nie. ‘Ek het vir Oupa gevra waarom ek moet leer om die Land Rover te bestuur. Hy sê toe ek moet leer bestuur sodat ek weet wat om te doen in ’n noodgeval.’ Min het Zoey – of haar oupa, Bill Boshoff – geweet dat daardie ‘noodgeval’ net ’n paar uur weg is. Want om 03h45 die volgende oggend het Bill wakker geskrik van ’n gehamer aan die voordeur. Op sy stoep was ’n half-verkluimde en uiters verwarde man, duidelik erg geskok. Al wat hy aan sy lyf gehad het was ’n geskeurde pienk T-hemp en ’n paar tekkies. Die drenkeling, die 66-jarige PJ Daly, het vertel dat hy een van drie mense is wat met ’n 47-voet seiljag, die Tara, op pad was van Saldanha na Kaapstad. Dit was windstil en hulle het met enjinkrag gevaar. Bill vertel verder: ‘PJ sê hy was op wag op die dek toe ’n brander skielik oor die dek gebreek het. Die volgende oomblik was hy in en onder die water, en die seiljag “skoonveld”.’ Hy het die tou wat hy om sy lyf gebind het in geval hy oorboord val, losgemaak en ook van die baadjie wat hy aangehad het, ontslae geraak. In die benoude minute wat daarop gevolg het, kon hy daarin slaag om die rotsagtige strand te bereik. Geskok en baie koud het hy na sy


mede-bemanningslede – sy vrou, Rachel (49), en die Tara se eienaar, George Mills (61) – begin soek. Hy het geroep maar geen antwoord gekry nie en besluit om te voet te gaan hulp soek. Minder as 50m van die plek waar die Tara gestrand het, het hy ’n tweespoorpaadjie gekry en suidwaarts in die rigting van Kaapstad begin loop. Bykans 4km verder het hy op die skilderagtige plaaswerf van Bokbaai – een van die oudste plase aan die Weskus, sowat 30km suid van Yzerfontein – aangekom waar hy vir Bill wakker geklop het. Bill sê die selfoonontvangs op die afgeleë plaas is bitter sleg, maar hy kon daarin slaag om sy vrou, Veronica, by hul huis in Pinelands wakker te bel. Veronica het onmiddellik die owerhede geskakel en die NSRI se Stasie 34 op Yzerfontein is geaktiveer. Daarna het Bill, ’n voormalige valskermsoldaat met mediese opleiding, sy mediese tas en ’n soeklig gegryp en hy, PJ en Zoey het na die wrak van die Tara begin soek. Bill sê hulle het nie ver gery voordat hy besef het dat hy ontmoontlik die Land Rover kan bestuur én sy soeklig hanteer terwyl hy ook na die plek soek waar PJ van die strand tot in die pad gekom het nie. PJ was té geskok om te help, dus moes die nege-jarige Zoey agter die stuur inskuif. Zoey sê terwyl haar oupa agterop die bakkie staan sodat hy beter kan sien, het sy stadig aangery totdat hy, net noord van Bokpunt, die mas van die Tara in

die kol van sy soeklig sien blink het. ‘Dit het gelyk asof ’n ontploffing die seiljag uitmekaar geruk het. Daar was niks oor nie. Oral het net stukke seiljag gelê,’ vertel hy. Binne minute is sy ergste vermoedens bevestig. Beide PJ se vrou, Rachel, en sy vriend, George, het verdrink. Willem Lubbe, stasiebevelvoerder van Stasie 34, sê teen hierdie tyd was hy en sy bemanning op die punt om hul 7,3m reddingsvaartuig, die Rotary Onwards, te water te laat. Steeds onseker oor presies wat die volle omvang van die ramp is, het hy ’n laaste keer probeer om Bill op sy selfoon te kontak. Gelukkig het Bill díe keer geantwoord. Sy kalm verslag en die feit dat hy oortuigend rekenskap kon gee van die drie bemanningslede


In die vroeë oggendure van Maandag 1 Februarie, het ’n hartseer gebeurtenis hom afgespeel aan die Weskus tussen Yzerfontein en Koeberg. Pieter Malan vertel.


‘Dit het gelyk asof ’n ontploffing die seiljag uitmekaar geruk het. Daar was niks oor nie.’

het Willem laat besluit om níe die Rotary Onwards te water te laat nie, maar eerder oor land na die ramptoneel te ry. ‘Dit was duidelik dat Bill in beheer was van die situasie en geweet het waarvan hy praat. Ek het my instink vertrou en besluit om nie my bemanning aan onnodige risiko bloot te stel nie.’ Op Bokbaai aangekom, sê Willem, het hulle seker gemaak dat PJ die nodige mediese bystand ontvang voordat twee bemanningslede, Izak Visagie en André Livingstone-Louw, die liggame van die oorledenes uit die vlak water herwin en aan die polisie oorhandig het. ‘Die held van die hele reddingspoging is ongetwyfeld klein Zoey wat die hele tyd ongelooflik kalm gebly het – ver

meer as haar jare verraai.’ Willem sê selfs nadat die NSRI op die toneel aangekom het, het sy die heel tyd by PJ gebly en hom probeer kalmeer, terwyl sy ook deurentyd met haar ouma, wat ’n belangrike koördineerder in die hele reddingspoging was, in Kaapstad per selfoon kontak gehou het. Bill sê hy het net lof vir die professionaliteit van almal wat daardie oggend betrokke was. ‘As jy baie geld het en jou kinders het jou kwaad gemaak, dan weet jy vir wie om dit te gee,’ spot hy. ‘Ons het daardie oggend die noodknoppie gedruk en skielik was daar ’n hele klomp mense hier. Terwyl ons lê en slaap is daar mense daar buite wat omgee.’ SEA RESCUE / WINTER 2016 /




Controllers, coxswains, trainees and duty crew make a formidable team, says Cherelle Leong, especially when supporting each other on long callouts, as the Elbow Grease rescue required – both on and off the water.


t 12h00 on 3 February 2016, Station 8 (Hout Bay) received a call to assist the yacht Elbow Grease with a solo sailor on board. The yacht was en route from Still Bay to Cape Town and was being blown westward out to sea because of a broken rudder. A position was given, locating the yacht west of Slangkop Lighthouse, with the initial chart plot 53 nautical miles out to sea. It was going to be a very long-haul call in deteriorating sea conditions that would require excellent seamanship and navigation, as well as experienced crew with strong sea legs. Duty coxswain James Beaumont responded, as well as senior coxswains Spencer Oldham and Sven Gussenhoven. Between them they have almost 60 years’ experience at Sea Rescue. The fourth, more junior crew member was


Karen Tunley, who as a marine biologist has logged many hours conducting research in deep seas and is therefore no stranger to the Atlantic elements. With Nadine Gordimer launched, the waiting game began. Position updates were obtained every 15 minutes as the crew proceeded towards the casualty. The last direct communications came through at 15h32 before they went beyond radio range of the base. Now relaying communications through Cape Town Radio, we were able to plot Nadine Gordimer’s progress. Updates reported five-metre swells, confused seas and gale-force winds gusting at more than 45 knots. With a speed ranging between eight and 14 knots, the estimated time of arrival at the yacht was 18h00. Going there was rough, but it was nothing compared with the conditions the crew

would have to endure on the return trip. Cape Town Radio had lost radio contact with the yacht two hours before, but it was located by calculating the drift from the yacht’s last known position and using the rescue boat’s radio direction finder (RDF). Picking up a weak RDF signal, direct communication with the yacht was established about 1,5 miles out. With worsening sea conditions only the mast was visible from 500m away. The small 26-foot yacht was found 70 nautical miles from Hout Bay, being tossed relentlessly by the sea. The skipper was sitting on deck, seemingly unaware of his perilous situation. In addition to having a broken rudder, he was out of diesel fuel and the battery on his radio was running out. At 18h25, the crew in the control room at Station 8 breathed a sigh of relief as Cape Town Radio relayed that the yacht had been located and that the rescue vessel was alongside it, attempting to set up a tow. The next update was received at 19h15, confirming that




Opposite page: Nadine Gordimer returns from her 18-hour rescue operation. Left: Chart mapping. Below: Stepping onto solid ground. Below left: Station 8 off-duty crew await the return of Nadine Gordimer during the rescue op.

a tow had been established but that progress was slow and difficult. With no rudder, the yacht was being jerked violently from side to side by the rough sea. At a speed of only six knots it would take 15 hours to get back to Hout Bay. After only 10 minutes of making little progress, even the skipper of the yacht admitted that continuing a tow would be futile. The difficult decision was made to evacuate the skipper and abandon the yacht. There was little daylight left and they were out of options. Even streaming lines behind the yacht to act as a sea anchor had had little stabilising effect. At 20h00, with the skipper and his belongings transferred to Nadine Gordimer, they turned east towards Hout Bay. The seven-hour countdown began. Back in

the control room, crew swopped shifts, continuing to relieve one another every few hours throughout the operation. Now there was nothing to do but wait

succumbed to seasickness. A call was sent out to all Station 8 crew, advising an arrival time of 03h00 – and virtually everyone responded. When Nadine Gordimer docked alongside the jetty at 03h10, there was a full crew complement ready to take over. As the weary rescue crew stepped ashore along with the casualty, replacement crew took care of refuelling the vessel and washing down the decks. At the base, James, Spencer, Sven and Karen were welcomed with steaming hot chocolate and coffee, toasted sandwiches and other refreshments. While the rescue boat was rehoused, washed down and unpacked, controllers completed the activity logs. It was an incredibly proud moment for station commander Lyall Pringle, seeing how all the volunteers came out to support the crew on their return from sea and

The small 26-foot yacht was found 70 nautical miles from Hout Bay, being tossed relentlessly by the sea. The skipper was sitting on deck, seemingly unaware of his perilous situation. and log the position updates as the relay calls came in from Cape Town Radio. At about 01h00 direct communications were established with Nadine Gordimer once again. They had been enduring zero visibility, rough confused seas and gale-force winds. Two of the crew had

take over all the tasks that needed to be done. That’s what it means to be part of the Sea Rescue family: whether you’re a coxswain, crew member, controller or trainee, we support one another in doing whatever needs to be done, whatever the time of day or night. SEA RESCUE / WINTER 2016 /



OFF THE BLUFF When the small boat with a father and son onboard capsized off the Bluff, quick bystander response and the casualty’s own safety knowledge assisted in a speedy rescue. By Wendy Maritz

Station 5 (Durban) crew assist a father and son after their skivvy capsized off The Bluff, Durban. Megan II was launched and father and son – and the skivvy boat – were all brought safely to shore.


The father, an experienced spearfisherman, had followed the safety protocols down to the last detail. After the boat capsized, he had managed to recover the capsize kit and grab his cellphone.




y all accounts it was a textbook rescue scenario,’ says Station 5 (Durban) coxswain Paul Bevis. Crew were activated by Transnet National Ports Authority at 09h30 on Saturday 5 March to assist after notification that a small ski boat had capsized about half a nautical mile off Treasure Beach on the Bluff. A concerned bystander had reported that two people, one clearly a child, were hanging onto the boat’s upturned hull and that every so often it appeared the child was losing his grip, drifting away and swimming back again. ‘We were in contact with this particular bystander,’ explains Paul, ‘and when we heard this, we knew we needed to hot-foot it to the scene.’ Megan II was launched with Paul at the helm and crew members Julian Singh, Omar Mansoor, and Jonathan Kellerman. Netcare 911 Ambulance Service was also activated. Conditions were on the medium side, Paul recalls, ‘not too rough, and we reached the scene quite quickly, guided by the bystander with the binoculars’. Paul and his crew found the casualties, a 52-year-old man and his 10-year-old

son, to be in good spirits, holding onto the hull of their 4.5m skivvy, waving an orange PVC sheet to make themselves more visible from shore. ‘Father and son were 100%,’ says Paul, who learned later that the two had planned to go spearfishing. The youngster, as it turned out, was swimming off to recover equipment that was floating away from the boat. Both were wearing wetsuits, had on their life jackets and were uninjured. The father, an experienced spear fisherman, had followed the safety protocols down to the last detail. After the boat capsized, he had managed to recover the capsize kit and grab his cellphone. Even though the phone had got wet in the process, it brought up only one number when it was switched on, that of a friend, who was called immediately and who in turn called for help. Not long after that, the bystander who had seen events unfold from his veranda had also called to report the incident. Father and son were transferred to the rescue vessel and brought to shore

at Vetchies Pier. Their boat was also recovered. It appeared that rope had become entangled around the motor and while they were trying to free the motor, the boat had capsized. The combination of accurate informa-

tion concerning the casualties’ location and the father’s seamanship and attention to safety details meant that a rescue could be affected quickly and with wholly positive results. All in all a good day’s work!



e recently said goodbye to Joan Wilkins, who has been a loyal volunteer at our NSRI head office for the past 12 years. Joan is also a volunteer at the Mountain Club and she divided her time between her favourite charities; on good weather days she would climb Table Mountain or swim in the icy Atlantic with a group of friends. Joan is retiring to Fish Hoek and will no longer be coming in to help out at head office. We will miss her stories, her kind nature, her positive outlook on life and her mischievous sense of humour.

Joan with Dr Cleeve Robertson (left) and head office staff (below).


BECOME A VOLUNTEER If you would like to volunteer your time please call Natasha on 021 434 4011 or email




Earlier this year, a six-year-old child lost her life in a drowning incident. She was on her way home from school. Andrew Ingram emphasises the role we must all play in these preventable tragedies.



Sea Rescue’s proactive educational initiative, The WaterWise Academy, is aimed at teaching children from disadvantaged communities how to avoid an emergency in water, how to rescue a friend safely, who to call for help and how to do HandsOn CPR. Since the project was launched in 2006, more than a million children have been taught by our instructors. For more information on the project, visit


their home at 7.30am to join her friends for the daily walk to school. A few minutes later she dashed back to collect her lunch box, which she had forgotten, shouted another happy goodbye to her father and was gone. Dozens of children from Diepsloot, a sprawling township near Johannesburg, have to cross a tiny tributary that feeds the Jukskei River on their way to and from school each day. Although a new traffic bridge is under construction a few hundred metres away, at the place where the children from Diepsloot cross the stream there are only two cement slabs on which they jump to get across. Usually it will do. It keeps their shoes dry, and the stream is often only a trickle. But a few times a year this little stream becomes a raging flood when the notorious rainstorms sweep across the area. As classes at Diepsloot Primary finished that day, Eveline Shikwambane, Angel’s teacher, waved her Grade 1 charges goodbye and watched as Angel and her friends ran off into the rain,

Above: Thabani Tshuma and Siboniso Sibanda hold a photograph of their daughter, Angel Sibanda, 6, the child who drowned in the Jukskei River when it flooded in February 2016.

which by then was sheeting down. Later she regretted that deeply, asking, ‘What if I just didn’t let them out?’ Siboniso realised at 2pm that something was wrong and started a desperate search for her daughter. By 3pm she had called Thabani, who rushed home. As he got to the Jukskei tributary he saw a large gathering of people, and with a heavy heart he learnt that a child had been washed away while trying to cross the stream that had become a raging torrent of water. The police were called and an enormous search was started, including Sea Rescue volunteers from Station 27 (Hartbeespoort Dam) and all the local emergency services. Three days later the body of the six-year-old girl was found 10km downriver. She had drowned because she had tried to cross a flooding stream.


hursday 25 February 2016 is a day that will forever be etched in the minds of Siboniso Sibanda and Thabani Tshuma. This is the day that their six-year-old daughter Angel drowned while trying to get home from school. The day started off the same as most other weekdays for the little family. Angel, in a jovial mood, rushed out of


The official statistics for drownings in South Africa, released by Statistics South Africa in December 2015, suggest that 1 579 people drown each year. However, this figure does not take into account those who drown and aren’t found, or those who aren’t taken to a mortuary and cases never reported to officials. This figure also excludes nonfatal drowning. Although a person survives a nonfatal drowning incident, it often leads to lung damage and various degrees of brain damage, which can be completely devastating for them, their family and their community. ‘We estimate there are 2 000 fatal drownings in South Africa each year,’ says Dr Cleeve Robertson, NSRI’s CEO. ‘An estimated 600 of these are children and, tragically, many of these are preventable with basic water-safety education,’ says Cleeve. ‘If you include nonfatal drownings in this figure by extrapolating international averages, we believe that 20 000 South Africans are involved in fatal and non-

Sea Rescue’s WaterWise Academy responded to calls for water-safety education from the outraged Diepsloot community. Sowetobased instructor Percy Mthombeni travelled there to educate the 1 300 children at Diepsloot Primary School. The local government has also undertaken to build a footbridge over the stream.

‘We estimate that there are 2 000 fatal drownings in South Africa each year,’ says Dr Cleeve Robertson, NSRI’s CEO.

fatal drowning incidents each year.’ A photograph taken by GroundUp reporter Benita Enoch shows Angel’s parents sitting at their Diepsloot home holding a picture of the little girl. Their great sadness is written on their faces. It is a photograph that is hard to look at. It reminds us that behind each one of these terrible statistics is a person with a family who loves them. And a community from which they need not have been ripped if they’d been taught the basics of water safety.

After joining Sea Rescue, Rieghard realised that moving to J-Bay was not enough. He had to do something about his health. And fitness. ‘Over the years I realised that to be able to do your job as a Sea Rescue volunteer you need to have a certain level of fitness. To be fair to yourself you need to be fit and strong. If you are overweight and not in good shape … you can probably help someone else … but you might put yourself in harm’s way at some stage,’ says the man who is now the Jeffreys Bay NSRI station commander.


‘It was January 2012 when we started getting fit. I weighed about 30 “kays” more than I do now… It all started slowly. Eidie and I used to run to the gate of the marina. It was a kilometre there and back, and for the rest of the day we would have no energy. ‘A few times Eidie said to me that it feels like we are not getting anywhere and I said to her that we must just persevere. The next day we must just get up and do it again. It was a very slow process.’ And that is what they did. ‘We entered a small triathlon. It was at the Sunday’s River outside PE … a 100m swim, 16km mountain biking and a 4km run. It wasn’t very strenuous, and I barely finished,’ he laughs. ‘It was a real achievement.’ ‘I have always liked to set myself a strenuous goal that might seem unachievable at the time. And we kept on training.’ In 2012 Rieghard completed the Transbaviaans 230km mountainbiking 24-hour race. ‘I remember the Monday morning after we finished the Transbaviaans, we decided to enter the Ironman 70.3. That became our new goal. That was a 1,9km swim, a 90km cycle and 21,1km run. ‘The swim was tough. I remember swimming back, against the current. I was struggling. And I kept thinking that the headline “NSRI station commander needed to be rescued” would not be very nice. So I persevered. It was probably one of the

IRON MAN Jeffreys Bay StatCom Rieghard Janse van Rensburg and his family left their fastpaced Gauteng life in search of something ‘different’. Andrew Ingram finds out more about the new, healthier pace they’ve adopted.




e all have dreams. Ambitions. Bucket lists… Things we’d like to do ‘before we die’. But the harsh reality is that for most of us they will remain just that: dreams. Rieghard Janse van Rensburg and his wife, Eidie, decided that they needed a change. A better balance in their lives. Turning his back on his job in the financial world and the fast-paced stressful existence that came with his Gauteng-based work, Rieghard packed up his family and moved to the coast. It was 2008. He and Eidie built their new home in Jeffreys Bay and carved new lives for themselves with careers as wedding and portraiture photographers. In 2009 Rieghard joined the Sea Rescue station at St Francis Bay, achieving something that he had wanted to do for many years. ‘Whenever I went to Cape Town I would go to the NSRI base in the Waterfront and look at the boat. I always had one of these Sea Rescue T-shirts on,’ smiles Rieghard as he thinks back to those days.



Left: Rieghard during the 100km Ultra Trail Cape Town. Top: Crossing the finishing line after completing the Ultra Trail, accompanied by the race organiser and his family.

In 2014 Rieghard entered his first Comrades. Each time he achieved a goal he raised the sights. And trained harder. ‘In life if you set yourself a goal you will probably achieve it,’ says Rieghard. ‘My goal for the end of 2014 was to do the full 100km SkyRun. But that year was a massive disappointment for me. I arrived in Lady Grey, went for my medical and the doctor would not clear me. My pulse was 100. I was coming down with the flu less than 24 hours before the race.’

biggest achievements of my life. I was still quite a bit overweight.’ From the time Rieghard started training to when he finished his first 70.3 Ironman was almost exactly a year. He then entered the full Ironman two months later. With that done and dusted, Rieghard set his sights on the Ironman in 2014 and to trail-running with Eidie. The 2013 Solomon SkyRun Lite, a 60km mountain-trail ‘To be fair to yourself you need to be fit and race, entered his focus. ‘It was the worst weather I have ever seen. It was ‘The next morning at 4am I stood not a race any more. It was survival. at the start line of the race that I had That race really got me hooked on the prepared for and watched the other endurance trail-running scene. There people go. My body was not there. You is something magical in being up in the need to listen to your body. So it was mountains. And something magical back to the drawing board.’ about challenging yourself like that. It’s ‘My goal was to run it at the end of a primal thing. 2015.’ ‘I realised I needed to train harder and In between Rieghard finished anothbe fitter. And change my eating habits.’ er Comrades and, having heard about

the Ultra Trail Cape Town, he set his sights on that as well. ‘The Ultra includes Lion’s Head, Devil’s Peak, Table Mountain and Karbonkelberg. It’s a 100km race but you only have 15 hours and 30 minutes to do it in. I decided to enter, knowing that it would be my biggest challenge yet. Four-thousand-five-hundred metres of vertical elevation. It was going to be a hell of a challenge. ‘That’s where the fundraising idea started. I remembered at school we used to get, say R1 per lap around the track, and I thought that to put mystrong.’ self under more pressure to finish the race I would link it to a fundraising campaign for Sea Rescue. We came up with the idea of R100 for 100km. It would be a nice way to raise funds for the base. ‘In the past I would run a race and everyone would hear about it afterwards. This time it was different. Everyone knew beforehand that I was running. It was a hell of a challenge and there would not be any excuse.



CREW STORIES I had told everyone. That placed a lot of good pressure on me… ‘I could not let myself down. And I could not let Sea Rescue down.’ There were approximately 60 entries. Fifty people started and only 32 finished. Rieghard was one of them. ‘I came in last. For me finishing in last place felt like coming in first.’ The race finish photograph shows the organiser, who is holding a flare, running over the finish line with Rieghard. Holding Rieghard’s hands are his family: Abbygail, 10, Richard, 12, and, of course, Eidie with a camera in her hand. It is an incredibly evocative photograph, because, like being a Sea Rescue volunteer, without the support of his family it would not have been possible. ‘It was one of the biggest days in my life. I will still be telling that story when I am 102 and sitting on the old-agehome stoep,’ laughs Rieghard. He raised R10 000 from that run and was able to order 20 jumpsuits for the Jeffreys Bay Sea Rescue volunteers.

Just over a month later he continued the fundraising campaign in the SkyRun 2015… and then raised the bar and set his sights on the Addo 100-miler. His new fundraising goal was focused on his Sea Rescue station needing manover-board (MOB) devices used in the event of a crewman going overboard. ‘My goal was to raise R12 000 for four of the MOB devices. ‘The SkyRun was awesome. It took me 27 hours to finish the 100km. It was a lot slower than I planned. But the bottom line is I finished.’ Three months later, on 26 February 2016, Rieghard and 34 others were on the starting line of one of the world’s toughest races. The Addo 100-mile trail run. ‘I was deurmekaar during that run… You travel places inside yourself that you do not know existed. It eats at you mentally. Thirty-five hours later I was at the finish line.’ Completing this race is an achieve-

ment not many people would be capable of, physically or mentally. Not only did Rieghard do it, he also raised R15 900 towards MOB devices for his crew. ‘What’s amazing for me is that in six months I managed to raise almost R26 000…’ Rieghard pauses. ‘I think I can improve on that and raise even more next time,’ he says with a glint in his eyes.

This year Rieghard is aiming for the SkyRun on the third weekend of November – and, three weeks later, the 100km Ultra Trail Cape Town on 10 December 2016. He plans to continue with his fundraising for Station 37 (Jeffreys Bay) so please keep an eye on Sea Rescue’s website and Facebook pages – he can do it with your support!

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IN THE NEWS Below: Knysna volunteer Darren Berry. Right: Knysna crew meet the victorious team at the finish line.


NSRI KNYSNA COXSWAIN IN WINNING TEAM AT EXPEDITION AFRICA ‘Fifty-four teams from around the world set off on a gruelling 500km expedition: an adventure race along the Garden Route. After a gutsy start and early breakaway, Team Featherbed Painted Wolf – consisting of brothers Mark Collins (team captain) and John Collins (navigator), and Jeannie Dreyer and Darren Berry (an NSRI volunteer) – crossed the finish line as winners of Expedition Africa, three days, 12 hours and 33 minutes after the start. Expedition Africa, a 500km multisport, self-navigated and self-supported race for teams of four, is considered to be the ultimate endurance sport event. Teamwork, patience, strategy and incredible fitness get each team across some of the most demanding terrain in the world. Expedition Africa, now in its sixth year, took a different turn this year, as it added a small urban flavour to the typically remote mountain ranges. Over three days, Team Featherbed

Painted Wolf kayaked, cycled and trekked through parts of the very scenic Garden Route in the Cape to help raise awareness for NSRI. From the get-go, Featherbed Painted Wolf set off at an extremely fast pace, making a break from the pack on the first trek through the Featherbed Nature Reserve.

ical and mental exertion to anyone who hasn’t taken part in an expedition-style race before. I was fortunate to be racing with three of South Africa’s best and most experienced adventure-racing athletes, who I regard as my friends first and as teammates thereafter. We had hoped to be competitive and, as it turned

‘I was fortunate to be racing with three of South Africa’s best and most experienced adventure-racing athletes, who I regard as my friends first and as teammates thereafter.’ After three short kayak legs, their lead slowly opened up to what ended as a massive seven-hour gap between first and second place. Exhausted and with aching muscles but smiling nonetheless, Team Featherbed Painted Wolf crossed the finish line victoriously. Darren says: ‘Expedition Africa 2016 was an epic experience. It’s very difficult to describe the race and convey the phys-

out, we were. To take the win in South Africa’s premier adventure race was a great thrill and something we feel very privileged to have been able to accomplish. We proudly wore the Sea Rescue logo on our sleeves. Thank you to everyone who came out to support us en route and at the finish. It was humbling to see the enthusiasm and genuine happiness on everyone’s faces.’ SEA RESCUE / WINTER 2016 /




RIDE IN SEA RESCUE COLOURS We still have a few branded Sea Rescue cycle tops available at R420 each for the 2016 design or R400 each for the 2015 one. Email Natasha at to order, to discuss the two different styles and to check whether we have your size available. 20 / SEA RESCUE / WINTER 2016

MARITIME EXTRICATION TRAINING FOR CREW lowering and raising a patient over the Our training facilitator, Daniel side of a ship. Aspects of safety, patient Heimann, explains what this new course care, vessel management and helming is all about: ‘Over the years the call are covered in the theory component of to evacuate casualties from vessels the course. All practiaround the cal aspects – from South African Over the years the call to boarding the vessel coast has been evacuate casualties from up the pilot’s ladder a joint operation vessels around the South to selecting the between the African coast has been a joint correct position and MRCC (Maritime system to lower the Rescue Coordioperation between the MRCC nation Centre), (Maritime Rescue Coordination patient – are also dealt with. TNPA (Transnet Centre), TNPA (Transnet NaThis is an internal National Ports tional Ports Authority), SAAF course drawing on Authority), SAAF (South African Air Force) and years of experience (South African Air Force) and Metro EMS as well as private from all the stations that have conducted Metro EMS as emergency medical services. maritime extrications. well as private emergency medical services. These extrications are entirely dependent on resources and, on some occasions, the only resource available is THANK YOU an NSRI rescue crew. ›› Leo van Staden from Timbercity Such an operation requires a crew to Woodstock for his generous board a vessel, stabilise the patient and donations and discounts on then prepare them for evacuation. material. Vessel-to-vessel transfers are some ›› Phillip from IBIS Manufacturing of the most challenging and difficult for the rope ladder rungs. manoeuvres that can be done, and the ›› Southern Ropes for the discount safest method is to lower the patient on the rope. over the side of the vessel to the rescue ›› Norman Louw from Steel Pipes craft below. We have developed a facility for Africa for the donation of specifically to upskill our crews, where steel used in the construction. they can learn the various methods of




n April, one of our training facilitators, Graeme Harding, went up to Vaal Dam, where 30 of our inland crew gathered for a joint exercise. The theory and practical sessions covered general boating skills, rope work, navigation, scenario-based training, fitness exercises, change management and leadership. Special thanks go to Dick and Kathy Manten for hosting us. In Graeme’s words: ‘They do a mean braai and the pap-en-sous was to die for.’


Station 10 (Simon’s Town) raised R30 790 in their street collection. The project was to raise funds for the upgrade of their training facilities.


Wolraad Woltemade Red Blend - R75 per bottle John Ross Sauvignon Blanc - R65 per bottle Contact Lloyd Merriman to order - (Corporate gifting available for orders of more than 200 bottles)




PROJECTS WE ARE PLANNING FOR 2016 CAPEX PROJECT LAND AND BUILDINGS Port Elizabeth: rescue base slipway Hermanus: rescue base upgrade Gordon’s Bay: rescue base upgrade Mossel Bay: slipway upgrade Hartbeespoort Dam: boat shed upgrade Victoria Lake: boat shed upgrade Port St Johns: boat shed upgrade VEHICLES (4X4 DOUBLE CABS) Mykonos Simon’s Town Wilderness Kommetjie Port Edward Witsand RESCUE BOATS Durban: new Class I SAR 14m vessel Mykonos: new 10,6m Gordon’s Bay: new 8,5m Richards Bay: new 8,5m Bakoven: new 7,3m Table Bay: new 6,5m Knysna: new 6,5m Vaal Dam: new 6,5m Hout Bay: new 4,2m Kommetjie: new 4,7m Mykonos: new 4,2 Wilderness: new 4,2m Hermanus: new 4,2m Shelly Beach: new 4,2m

COST R4,9 million R2 million R2 million R1,2 million R200 000 R200 000 R500 000 R400 000 R400 000 R400 000 R400 000 R400 000 R400 000 R19 million R3,35 million R2,025 million R2,025 million R2,2 million R1,02 million R1,02 million R1,02 million R195 000 R195 000 R195 000 R195 000 R195 000 R195 000

Thank you so much to our generous supporters who have already pledged funding to a number of these projects. If anyone else is able to assist us with sponsorship or donations, please contact Alison Smith, our fundraising manager, on 021 434 4011 or


In the Autumn 2014 issue of Sea Rescue, we featured a story on the towing of the yacht Black Cat. Skipper Dudley Dix shares his insights of capsize scenarios: ‘In January 2014 I was skipper of the 38-foot Black Cat when we were capsized by a massive breaking wave about 75 miles offshore from Cape Town. It wasn’t a full capsize, although the boat went from upright to nearly upside-down in an instant. In seconds we had a boatload of water and the chaos of crew, food, equipment, cabin soles and even a fridge that had been bolted into the table flying around in the cabin with great force. In our case, the boat remained intact and came back upright very quickly but it gave us insight for an instant into what it is like to be in a boat that has been capsized on the ocean...’ For the full story, visit

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NSRI CEO Dr Cleeve Robertson braved a chilly Monday morning at the Camps Bay tidal pool to swim for 67 minutes to raise funds in honour of Mandela Day on 18 July. While he was lapping the pool, the head office staff donned their rubber gloves, grabbed their black bags and headed off over the rocks and along the beach to collect the litter in the surrounding area. It ended with a welcome cup of hot coffee.

To view a short video of Cleeve and the head ofice crew go to cleeve-swims-67mins-in-honourof-mandela-day/

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NEW VEHICLE FOR STATION 26 We’d like to say a very big thank you to Komicx Products (Pty) Ltd for sponsoring a brand-new Mitsubishi Triton 4×4 rescue vehicle for our crew at Station 26 (Kommetjie). This is the second vehicle that Komicx has sponsored (the first one was in 2008). We are extremely grateful for the incredible support we have

Above: Kommetjie station commander Ian Klopper receives the keys for the new 4x4 from Komicx director and factory manager Ester Henkeman and financial manager Michelle Shortt. received from the Kommetjie-based fishing company and look forward to a longlasting relationship in the future.

IN COMMEMORATION On Friday, 29 April, rescue crews in the Western Cape were represented at the unveiling of a memorial, established on the Stellenbosch Flying Club grounds of the Stellenbosch airfield, which honours all those men and women in South Africa who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. This solemn occasion was dignified by the sincere words of the mayor of Stellenbosch, the Honourable Conrad Sidego, who honoured servicemen and women from volunteer and professional


services who work together to save lives and property. Attended by some 200 representatives, this ceremony was the culmination of a year’s research and work by Stuart Dobson, a close friend of Oom Bees Marais, who lost his life in a flying accident while fighting a fire in the Cape Peninsula on 5 March 2015.

raining is done every Wednesday. We have been focusing on fitness in open-water swimming but recently changed over to scenario training since our training officer returned from Cape Town motivated and overflowing with knowledge (thank you). We have an extra training session once a month on a Saturday, when we have more time to do extra manoeuvres and drills. Our station is very new but our crew members are full of enthusiasm. Seven of our nine volunteers have inland skipper’s tickets so we are focusing on the rest of the essential skills, like first aid and rope work – but with a great team, I don’t see our crew being novices for very long. We have been blessed with the use of a 9mx3m shed at the Witbank Yacht & Aquatic Club and have fitted it out to the best of our abilities (thanks to our donors). Our current needs are: hand-held search lights, a high-pressure washer for cleaning the rescue boat, and a gazebo for protection from the harsh sun during training.

To get involved as a volunteer or to offer your support, call Dean on 060 962 2620.


AWARDS AND AGM Our annual general meeting and awards evening is always a special occasion. We gather together to review the achievements and challenges of the past year and to present the financial statements for public scrutiny. We then honour our volunteers, our supporters and our colleagues who work with us to help save lives. What greater gift can a man or woman give than to offer their time, and on occasion risk their life to save others? For the NSRI 2015 Integrated Report (covering nine months from April to December 2015), go to

Abdurahman Farat (left) and Nic Bothma with Nazley Harris, who they rescued from a rip current at Noordhoek. 20 YEARS LONG SERVICE AWARDS Andrew Mayes – Station 2 (Bakoven) and voluntary IT support Pamela St Clair-Laing – Station 5 (Durban) Pieter Zaayman – Station 15 (Mossel Bay) Deon Langenhoven – Station 17 (Hermanus) Rhine Barnes – Station 18 (Melkbosstrand) Dave Jensen – Station 26 (Kommetjie) 25 YEARS LONG SERVICE AWARDS Piet van der Merwe – Station 8 (Hout Bay) Darren Zimmerman – Station 10 (Simon’s Town) Graham Anley – Station 14 (Plettenberg Bay) Antonie de Klerk – Station 17 (Hermanus) 30 YEARS LONG SERVICE AWARDS Mark Thompson – Station 2 (Bakoven) The late Ken Elliot – Station 7 (East London) Paul Jordaan – Station 14 (Plettenberg Bay) Clint Abrahams – Station 16 (Strandfontein) Andy Connell – Station 29 (Air Sea Rescue) 35 YEARS LONG SERVICE AWARDS Chris Hudson – Station 8 (Hout Bay) and Honorary Life Governor 45 YEARS LONG SERVICE AWARDS Howard Godfrey – Station 3 (Table Bay) and Honorary Life Governor Ian Hamilton – Station 15 (Mossel Bay) and Honorary Life Governor

Mitsubishi dealer principal Danny Moodley (left) and COO Wynand Pretorius with the Alric Simpson Trophy.



Ray and Linda (parents of Kyle Castelyn) applaud as Captain Hervé Lepage receives his award from NSRI Chairman Ronnie Stein.

NSRI CEO Dr Cleeve Robertson presents Percy Mthombeni with the WaterWise Recognition Award. Clint Abrahams receives his 30 years service award from NSRI Chairman Ronnie Stein.

CEO LETTER OF APPRECIATION Surfers Timsel Steinfels and Sebastian Deneke for the brave rescue of Markus Wolff off Eerste Steen, between Bloubergstrand and Melkbosstrand.

1 April 2015 to 31 December 2015


MARMION MARSH AWARD Mike Patterson for his especially noteworthy service to the cause of Sea Rescue in South Africa over a number of years.

WATERWISE ACADEMY RECOGNITION AWARD Percy Mthombeni (Waterwise instructor)

CEO LETTER OF APPRECIATION Paul Richards, owner of Sandown Blues Restaurant, Kleinmond, for the rescue of three women caught in a rip current.

ALRIC SIMPSON AWARD Mitsubishi Motors SA (Awarded annually to a person who or an organisation that has rendered distinguished service to the NSRI)

CEO LETTER OF APPRECIATION Surfers Abdurahman Farat and Nic Bothma for the brave rescue of Nazley Harris at Noordhoek Beach.

DIRECTORS’ THANKS Presented to Captain Hervé Lepage and crew of the French bulk carrier CMA CGA Rossini for the rescue of Jean Sitruk, 65, and Kyle Castelyn, 20, aboard the tender of the capsized yacht Llama Lo.

Rhine Barnes receives his 20 years service award from NSRI Chairman Ronnie Stein.






Please join us at an event near you, or ring Natasha to enquire when we will be in your area.

KZN Janet Burgess invites you to join her: FOR BREAKFAST Thursday 25 August, 9.30am Kloof Country Club Members who bring a friend attend at no charge, friends would pay R75 each

FOR LUNCH Thursday 15 September, 12 noon Yellowood Café, Howick Members who bring a friend attend at no charge, friends would pay R50 each Left: Life boat Circle’s Kim Gresse with crew from Station 14 (Plettenberg Bay).

News from Jeffreys Bay

Above from left: Justin Erasmus, Shereen Theron and Brian Hustler.

Above: Vaughn Seconds and Maureen Porter at Station 16 (Strandfontein).

During February, Kenyon Clegg gave a talk at the local SAARP (South African Association of Retired Persons). There were some 150 present, many of whom took up the invitation to attend a tea and tour of the rescue base. Many were so impressed by the rescue base and facilities that they signed up as new members, and nine people pledged to leave a bequest in their wills. In March, he addressed the ladies from the Dameskring and a further five new members signed up. Then, on a recent camping holiday trip, Kenyon signed up another four members. Like all volunteers, Ken is always on duty! Thank you, Kenyon, for the work that you do – both as a rescue volunteer and for Life boat Circle.

THANK YOU FOR THE DONATIONS RECEIVED BIRTHDAYS: Elspeth Gray (90th), Captain Dennis Banks (90th), John Boshoff (70th), Richard Haeyes, Deidre Richman and Kevin Mathison. IN MEMORY OF: EJ Dominy, Andrew Honiball, George Foulis, Dr Roger Neville Sinclair, Martin Burger, Rod Wilson, Jan Jansen, Noel Mallinson, Ken Davies and Stephen Muller. ASHES LOG: Station 10 (Simon’s Town): Mrs Rose Tesner, Station 17 (Hermanus): Mr Friedric Busse. 28 / SEA RESCUE / WINTER 2016

FOR TEA AND A TOUR of our Durban rescue base Wednesday 5 October, 10am

CAPE TOWN SOUTHERN SUBURBS Elaine Aquadro invites you to join her: FOR TEA AND SCONES Tuesday 6 September, 10am Simon’s Town Country Club

CAPE TOWN NORTHERN SUBURBS Bruce Sanderson invites you to join him: FOR TEA AND A TOUR of Melkbosstrand rescue base Wednesday 17 August, 11am

CAPE TOWN Theresa Medicine invites you to join her: FOR TEA AND CAKE Tuesday 16 August, 10am Newport Market & Deli, Beach Road, Mouille Point OR Thursday 15 September, 10am Pizzeria Villagio, Howard Centre, Pinelands

HERMANUS Kim Gresse invites you to join her: FOR TEA AND A TOUR of Hermanus rescue base Wednesday 14 September, 11am WILDERNESS Kim Gresse invites you to join her: FOR TEA AND A TOUR of Wilderness rescue base Wednesday 19 October, 11am

For all events, please RSVP to Natasha Lindeboom on 021 434 4011 or

PRETTY. DEADLY. When Chinese Lanterns, also known as Sky Lanterns, are released from beaches, they are often mistaken for emergency distress flares. NSRI volunteers then launch rescue boats and spend hours looking for people in difficulty.

Chinese Lanterns are also harmful to the environment and are a fire hazard.

SR Magazine Lantern Ad 225 x 170.indd 1

2016-03-10 14:29:20


Greg Bertish (left) and Adam Klopper





On 12 April this year, Station 26 (Kommetjie) station commander Ian Klopper accompanied his son Adam to a memorable rendezvous with Greg Bertish during his Little Optimist fundraising project. By Wendy Maritz



ife is full of surprises, startling coincidences and serendipitous moments that boggle the mind and warm the heart. And when events come full circle their true significance is revealed in a way that is often life-changing. Ian Klopper’s son Adam was born in 2001, and while the world was reeling after the 9/11 attacks, the Klopper family was dealing with their own personal crisis. Adam was diagnosed with a cardiac condition known as tetralogy of Fallot. ‘Blood is shunted around the body,’ Ian explains, ‘without adequately passing through the lungs, and therefore not circulating enough oxygen to supply the rest of the body. ‘We heard that Adam would need three open-heart operations to rectify the condition – the first at one month of age, then six months, and the final one at three years,’ he adds. Baby Adam’s second heart surgery placed him in the surgical ICU of Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital. Ian was ever present, overseeing Adam’s progress and care. Occupying the bed next to his son was a heavily sedated man who had also undergone openheart surgery (he would have to endure several more in later years) due to a subtropical bacterium that had infected his aortic valve. Knowing him then as ‘Greg’, Ian remembers chatting to him, and regularly relating the latest sports

scores to him to keep his spirits up. Greg and Adam’s lives parted at this point. Adam underwent his required surgeries, and despite the limitations caused by his condition, grew up to love sports, especially soccer and cricket, in which he excelled. He’s also grown to love the idea of rescue work, and attended Station 26’s Junior Academy at the end of 2015. Greg never forgot the baby boy who shared the ICU with him, and while preparing for The Little Optimist fundraising drive that would take him from Hangklip to Langebaan Lagoon, he called Ian to find out how Adam was doing. Station 26

Their meeting was an emotional one, Ian recalls. Greg shook Adam’s hand, telling the teenager how significant he had been in his own recovery, as well as his mission to encourage children to believe in themselves ... being part of that moment filled Adam with such elation.

had arranged to meet Greg as a show of support as he passed by Kommetjie, and Greg jumped at the opportunity to ask Ian if Adam could come along. Adam was over the moon and literally dropped what he was doing to go and meet Greg. Their meeting was an emotional one, Ian recalls. Greg shook Adam’s hand, telling the teenager how significant he had been in his own recovery, as well as his mission to encourage children to believe in themselves. ‘As a father, I stood there with a tear in my eye and a heart bursting with pride. Even though Adam doesn’t remember being in hospital, being a part of that moment with Greg and hearing what he was saying about him filled him with such elation … Everyone stood in silence as Greg spoke, gripping them with the power and raw humility of his story.’ Despite his involvement in SharkSpotters and the other projects he was involved in with Greg and his brother Chris, it was the first time Ian had met up with Greg since their encounter when Adam was a mere six months old. When matters are close to the heart, they bind those hearts in the will to give, it seems. Greg continues to devote all his spare time to fundraising drives, and motivational talks aimed specifically at children. And Adam, well, Adam can’t wait to join the NSRI to become a volunteer and then a coxswain as soon as possible. SEA RESCUE / WINTER 2016 /



TRAPPED On 20 January this year the SAWDN launched from Yzerfontein harbour following reports of two whales entangled in fishing rope lines in the vicinity of Dassen Island. By Cherelle Leong


her line of vision, which only served to distress her even more. Generally entanglements happen around the tail or fins, and in such cases disentanglement crews can work behind the whale, out of their direct line of vision, which is less stressful to them. But in this instance there was no choice. Humpback whales have bristles in their mouths, and when ropes become entangled in their mouths it affects their ability to feed effectively. It was vital that the team cut the rope through the whale’s mouth. After several approach attempts the cut was made, but still the rope remained wedged in her mouth. The team then decided to use a grappling hook to try to pull the line free. The conditions were windy, which complicated matters further, as the boat was consistently blown towards the whale. It took every bit of manoeuvring skill on the part of the Sea Rescue coxswains to keep clear

Main: These two whale disentanglement operations were of the most complicated that the crew had experienced.


he crayfish lines and buoys stretched for miles out to sea. Searching for two entangled whales was not going to be easy. Crews from Sea Rescue and the South African Whale Disentanglement Network (SAWDN) had launched from Yzerfontein and were scanning the horizon for any sign of the whales among the hundreds of buoys bobbing on the surface. After what seemed like ages, they spotted one set of buoys being pulled under water. It was a young female humpback whale with one line of rope through her mouth and several wrapped around her tail. She was anchored between lines attached to crayfish nets below and buoys on the surface, and was thrashing about in distress. The decision was made to cut and clear the rope from her mouth first, but the challenge was that, in doing so, the boat had to come in close to


To view a short video of the whale disentanglements go to two-whales-assisted-in-2disentanglement-operations/


It took every bit of manoeuvring skill on the part of the Sea Rescue coxswains to keep clear of the whale yet remain close enough for the team to work the ropes free.

of the whale yet remain close enough for the team to work the ropes free. As the grappling iron was thrown, it hooked the rope – but the action caused the whale to react violently. She thrashed about, spinning her gigantic form in an effort to get away. As she spun, the rope wrapped around her head. Just as suddenly, she changed direction and the team was able to unwrap the rope quickly and pull it free. During the chaos her fins swept over the bow of the boat, knocking a GoPro camera from one volunteer’s helmet and slapping another volunteer in the chest. Fortunately, because all crew members were wearing helmets and protective clothing, there were no severe injuries. Next came the difficult task of cutting the ropes wrapped around the tail. All the whale wanted to do was get away from the rescue crews, and her constant thrashing, breaching and diving

complicated the efforts. It took a great deal of patience, split-second timing and perseverance, but eventually the whale was freed and swam off. As the crews headed back towards Yzerfontein, they came across the second entangled whale. This one wasn’t anchored to traps on the seabed like the other whale but was hindered by a long wrap of rope around its tail and several loops around its left flipper. While not as distressed as the first whale, it was still wary of the boats. The decision was made to cut the long tail wrap first, as this would be the easiest to remove. Once this was achieved, the whale started swimming more freely, even though it still had rope entangled around its left flipper. The boats stayed with the whale, having the challenging task of pacing alongside while it swam. Cutting the ropes was complicated as the flipper was often under the water, making it difficult to see where to cut. Often the boats had to back off so that the whale could calm down before they’d approach for another attempt. The engine noise didn’t help, but they had to keep up with the whale in order to get the ropes

free. It was a real struggle to get close and anticipate the whale’s movements so that the crew in the bow of the boat could get in to cut the ropes. Patience and perseverance eventually paid off, as one by one the wraps of rope were cut and pulled free of the whale. Mike Meyer of SAWDN reflects that these were two of the most challenging disentanglements he has ever been involved in – and he would know. As the founder of SAWDN, he has been instrumental in the establishment and training of specialised whale-disentanglement crews across 17 sites in South Africa. This has earned him an award from Maritime Review Africa recently. He was selected from six other Green Warrior finalists who have all made concerted efforts in marine conservation. In addition to his work at SAWDN, Mike regularly attends international workshops on whale welfare and is involved in several ongoing research projects involving marine mammals and birds. Although whale disentanglements are a difficult and challenging task, the reward of seeing these magnificent mammals free once again is unquestionably worth it. SEA RESCUE / WINTER 2016 /


STADIG OOR DIE KLIPPE Opleiding, spanwerk en eerstehandse kennis van die uitdagende terrein het die deurslag gegee toe NSRI Plettenbergbaai (Stasie 14) in Januarie ’n beseerde stapper by Robberg Natuurreservaat na veiligheid gebring het. Christine Curtis vertel



aar word met goeie rede van ‘die wilde kant’ van Robberg gepraat. Die ruwe westelike deel van hierdie skiereiland is nie kinderspeletjies nie. Stasie 14 is goed vertroud met die gevare langs die natuurreservaat se staproete: díe span het al baie mense gehelp wat hier in die moeilikheid beland het. Soms word reddingspogings selfs van die see se kant af behartig eerder as om iemand oor die lastige terrein te probeer vervoer. Dit was juis die geval toe ’n stapper op 14 Januarie hier geval het en beseer is. Om 15h30 díe middag het Deon Truter die bemanning aan diens geaktiveer nadat hy deur CapeNature-beamptes

ingelig is dat ’n 46-jarige man van PE sy regterknie beseer het toe hy saam met sy seun by Robberg gaan stap het. ‘Dit was warm, bedompig en mistig,’ onthou bemanningslid Nicholas van den Handel, wat die reddingstog meegemaak het. ‘Die see was rof aan die wilde kant van die skiereiland, waar die stapper geval het.’ Terwyl die Leonard Smith en Discovery Runner lanseer is en twee NSRI-vrywilligers direk na die toneel gedraf het, het CapeNature-beamptes en die Weskaapse Departement van Gesondheid se EMS ook reageer. Nicholas en nog ’n bemanningslid van die Leonard Smith is met die Discovery Rescue Runner aan wal gestuur naby The Island, vanwaar hulle ongeveer 3km tot by die toneel gehardloop het. Die twee NSRI-vrywilligers wat direk soontoe gedraf het, het terselfdertyd daar aangekom. ‘Omdat die vier van ons die Robberg-roete drie tot vier maal per week vir oefening hardloop, was dit ons taak om so gou moontlik die beseerde se posisie te bevestig en sy toestand te evalueer,’ verduidelik Nicholas. ‘Hy was baie verlig om ons te sien. Hy was in pyn





›› Leonard Smith – Laurent Eray (stuurman), Bruce Noble (opleidingsbeampte), Mathew Spurrier, Nicholas van den Handel, Quinten Olivier, Ross Badenhorst, Tyrone Evans, Deon Victor, Gerhard Jordaan. ›› Discovery Rescue Runner – Robbie Gibson (stuurman) ›› Die twee lede wat direk na die toneel gehardloop het: Steph le Roux, Andrew van Blommestein

maar stabiel. Hy kon nie op ’n slegter plek geval het nie. Dis die moeilikste deel van die roete.’ Intussen is die Leonard Smith verskuif na Robberg se punt, waar ’n verdere vyf vrywilligers aan wal gelaat is om die noodtoerusting langs ’n makliker roete na die toneel te dra. Daar gekom, het almal aan die werk gespring om die pasiënt so gemaklik moontlik te ‘verpak’ vir die tog terug water toe. ‘Ons weeklikse oefeningsessies het gehelp dat alles glad verloop. Die linkerhand weet altyd wat die regterhand doen.’ Spanwerk was veral belangrik gedurende die twee ure wat dit geneem het om die man veilig na die afsetpunt te dra. Die EMS-paramedici en CapeNature-beamptes, wat intussen by hulle aangesluit het, het die NSRI-vrywilligers afgelos en almal het mekaar se toerusting help dra, vertel Nicholas. Waar die Leonard Smith met twee bemanningslede aan boord gewag het, was die deinings groter teen die tyd dat die moeë draers die steil afdraande bereik het bokant ’n rotslys wat hulle

Oorkant: Elke stap van die reddingspoging moes haarfyn beplan word om die beseerde man versigting oor die ruwe terrein te vervoer. Links, van bo na onder: Die drywende draagbaar is na die reddingstuig uitgeswem; die stuurman se tydsberekening was uiters belangrik; veilig aan boord, op pad terug na die basis.

baie goed ken van vorige reddings en vele oefensessies. ’n Paar vrywilligers is ondertoe om die toerusting stuk-stuk van die rotslys na die Leonard Smith oor te plaas, as ’n oefenlopie, met noukeurige tydsberekening tussen die deinings van ervare stuurman Laurent Eray. Ná deeglike beplanning van die finale proses is die pasiënt by die helling afgedra, en toe breek die kritieke oomblik aan. Ses vrywilligers het hom op die drywende draagbaar van die lys tot by die boot uitgeswem, met bystand van beide vaartuie en die paramedici en CapeNature gereed op die wal, ingeval iets verkeerd loop. ‘Ons het soos een beweeg,’ vertel Nicholas. Met die res van die bemanning ook aan boord – behalwe een lid wat die paramedici en CapeNaturepersonneel vergesel het na die parkeerarea – is die vaartuie vort na die basis. ’n EMS-ambulans het die beseerde vandaar na die hospitaal geneem. Hy het intussen ’n suksesvolle knie-operasie ondergaan en sal na verwagting ten volle herstel.

ROBBERG: BEELDSKOON MAAR GEVAARLIK Robberg is ’n rotsagtige skiereiland ongeveer 8km suid van Plettenbergbaai. Die natuurreservaat en mariene beskermingsgebied is bekend vir sy natuurskoon. Drie sirkelstaproetes bied besoekers die kans om onder meer die skaars blouduiker en ’n verskeidenheid voëlsoorte, asook robbe, dolfyne en walvisse te siene te kry. Daar is egter uitdagende dele waar hulle liefs hulle oë op die paadjie moet hou en fyn moet trap! Sterk wind, rowwe branders en hooggety kan ook tot die gevaar bydra. NSRI-vrywilliger Nicholas van den Handel, wat Robberg soos die palm van sy hand ken, raai aan dat enigiemand wat hier kom stap, draf en klim altyd sekermaak dat hulle… ›› geskikte skoene dra ›› genoeg water saamdra ›› ’n gelaaide selfoon met die NSRI se noodnommer daarop byderhand hou ›› iemand laat weet wanneer hulle vertrek en wanneer hulle beplan om terug te keer. SEA RESCUE / WINTER 2016 /



Hking, rafting and 4x4-ing are not just for the adrenaline junkies. Catherine Hofmeyr has a few suggestions everyone can enjoy!


Imagine camping in the bush of Kruger Park for several nights with no fences between you and the wild creatures of Africa. It’s not just a dream – families and friends are doing it every week on the five-night Lebombo 4x4 Eco Trail. The guided self-drive trail begins at Crocodile Bridge and ends 500km away at the Pafuri picnic site at Crook’s Corner – that’s the entire length of the Kruger Park, along roads and tracks not open to the general public. Although you pass through Lower Sabie, Olifants and Shingwedzi camps to refuel, all camping is wild, with no facilities other than portable toilets. The Lebombo is not a hard-core 4x4 trail but rather a wilderness-on-wheels escape for bush lovers. The only downside is that daily distances are quite far, so game-viewing and bush-chilling time is limited. Visit or call Hester van der Berg on 012 426 5117 to book. Malaria prophylactics are recommended; no children under 12.



There’s just something about islands that shouts adventure – and much more so when you paddle in your own kayak up to the biscuit-coloured beach of an uninhabited island surrounded by neon-green, fish-filled water. Kayak Africa, based in Chembe village on the southern shore of Lake Malawi, has tented camps – think barefoot luxury – tucked amid the miombo foliage and boulders on Domwe and Mumbo islands, within the Lake Malawi National Park. There are fish eagles and otters for company, trees to climb, hammocks to doze in and lots of exploring to do on foot and by kayak. And you have your own aquarium on your doorstep – put on a mask and fins, and snorkel for hours in warm, clear water with the famous cichlid fish of Lake Malawi. The resident dive school also offers scuba-diving – with no sea currents, the lake is a perfect place to learn. Kayak Africa offers fully inclusive fly-in packages from South Africa. Visit for options.


What an adventure!



Follow in the tracks of the famous Imama Wild Ride (South Africa’s original mountain-biking stage race held in August every year) on the lower Wild Coast – but at a distinctly more relaxed pace so that there’s time for swimming, photo stops and shooting the breeze with locals along the way. The mountain-bike adventure starts in Morgan Bay and finishes five days later at Coffee Bay, or you could push on to Umngazi. If the tide is favourable, a lot of riding is on beaches, otherwise your route follows jeep tracks and cattle paths meandering through traditional villages and grassy hills along the coast. Daily rides are about 45km, which may not sound like much but there are rivers to cross and some portaging too. You’ll chill overnight in friendly Wild Coast family hotels – expect seafood on the menu – or in nature reserves, eco-lodges and cottages. Visit for further information. Drifters Adventures also offers mountain-biking trips on the spectacularly wild Pondoland coast – visit www. to find out more.

The African bush is lovely any way you experience it, but for me there’s no better game-viewing vehicle than a horse. Wild animals are less spooked by horses, so on a Horizon Horseback safari you’ll mingle with herds of zebra, canter alongside frisky wildebeest or eyeball hippos from an elevated perch. Horizon Horseback is based in the malaria-free Waterberg in Limpopo, on a historical family cattle estate that encompasses its own game reserve. The wild and varied topography of the Waterberg offers perfect riding country, from bushveld savannah to rocky outcrops and mountains. There are no dangerous animals so riders don’t have to be experienced, and the company offers a dedicated family safari. Game viewing aside, you could also try your hand at polocrosse, western games, jumping, cattle mustering with real, live Bonsmara cattle herds, and – the kids’ favourite – swimming with your horse. Riders stay in a lodge with a wraparound veranda, where they’ll enjoy afternoon tea overlooking a lake. Get the details at



There can be few expeditions more exciting for youngsters than stashing all their gear into canoes or inflatable rafts, then paddling off down a wide, meandering river, camping under the stars on river banks for several nights, swimming, fishing, exploring… A multi-day Orange River expedition is largely about drifting sedately through two-million years of earth time, with the dramatic mountain scapes of the Richtersveld round every bend. But occasionally the river smacks you with a rapid, like the aptly named Sjambok or the angry Gamkap. Being unceremoniously dumped out of your boat by a standing wave is all part of the fun – ask any 10-year-old. There are numerous river-rafting/canoeing operators both on the Namibian side (where you will need a passport) and the South African side, near the Vioolsdrif border post. Try or Gravity Adventures offers trips with a variety of water conditions – and even a waterfall – further upriver, departing from Onseepkans, near Pofadder. To find out more, visit SEA RESCUE / WINTER 2016 /





limate and environmental change is real. It is affecting biological systems at all levels from plants to top predators, both on land and at sea. Combined with other human threats like overfishing, pollution and habitat degradation, global biodiversity is under an ever-increasing pressure. A range of studies has shown that these changes to the environment can have serious implications for marine species, including for cetaceans (whales and dolphins). The response of cetaceans to climate change has been relatively poorly studied globally, and as yet, not at all in South Africa. The Sea Search team, led by Dr Simon Elwen,


Dr Tess Gridley and students, aims to remedy this lack of knowledge. The Sea Search group consists of a number of scientists and students from several universities (including the University of Pretoria and the University of Cape Town) who study various aspects of whale and dolphin biology. THE E3C PROJECT: WHAT IT’S ALL ABOUT Sea Search has recently launched a project called E3C – Effect of Climate Change on Cetaceans. The main aim is to study cetacean distribution, and the environmental (such as sea temperature and salinity) and biological variables

(such as the presence of prey, predators or competitors) shaping that distribution. By studying these questions close to the end of species ranges, our research team hopes to pinpoint which of these factors act to limit that range. Subsequently we aim to model how these are likely to change over time, with predicted environmental changes. The results from this study can be used to predict future distributions patterns and to inform marine conservation and management. A multidisciplinary approach is being used in this study. Firstly, hydrophones (sound recorders) are installed at key locations to continually record cetacean presence (vocalisa-


How does climate change affect our whale and dolphin populations? You can help us with an important study by reporting whale and dolphin sightings. By Tevya Lotriet and Simon Elwen

tions). Dedicated research surveys using our small research boat are conducted around Cape Town, which provide information on search effort (where we’ve looked and haven’t, where cetaceans are and aren’t), as well as their behaviour in these areas, and give us the opportunity to collect skin samples for genetic and diet analysis and acoustic recordings of animals in situ for species classification. However, we can’t be everywhere all the time, so we are trying to take advantage of all the other eyes on the water by collating sightings from commercial operators (mainly tourism vessels), other scientists and the general public to help us spread the search effort as far as possible.

HOW YOU CAN ASSIST Help us by becoming a citizen scientist and contributing sightings to the E3C project. Citizen scientists are members of the public who are willing to contribute to science and research. It is the combined power of all these sightings that helps us add more dots to maps and better understand their distributions. Harnessing the power of citizen science can greatly help scientists to understand more about cetacean range limits and general habitat use. HOW TO SUBMIT A SIGHTING We have created a range of platforms so that there’s a convenient option for everyone: ›› iSpot is an online platform where you can upload a picture of your sighting, have the species verified and choose coordinates from an interactive map (sign up at Tag your sightings with the word ‘SeaSearch’. ›› Visit our Facebook page (, send us a ‘friend’ request and tag us in your photographs. ›› Submit details via Twitter @seasearchafrica ›› Email sighting information to


STUDY AREA The South African coastline is a unique area to undertake research due to the confluence of the cool Benguela current on the West Coast and the warm Agulhas current on the East Coast. As a result of the wide range of oceanographic conditions around our coast, southern Africa has one of the most diverse assemblages of whale and dolphin species in the world. The study area lies within the southwestern Cape, with a focus on the coastal areas from Cape Hangklip to Melkbosstrand. However, sightings from all regions are very valuable and most welcome. STUDY SPECIES We are interested in all whale and dolphin species but are focused on the five dolphin species that all have the southernmost limits of their range end in the approximately 150km of coast around Cape Town. The five focal species are the Heaviside’s dolphin (Cephalorhynchus heavisidii) and dusky dolphin (Lagenorhynchus obscurus), which are most common in the cooler waters along the West Coast; and the long-beaked common dolphin (Delphinus delphis), the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops aduncus) and Indian Ocean humpback dolphin (Sousa plumbea), which prefer warmer waters along the South and East Coasts.

WHAT TO SUBMIT The most important information we need is the species, the date and time, the location and the group size. Further observations on presence of calves and behaviour are also really appreciated. Sightings should be submitted with as much detail as possible. Photographs are really valuable in the species ID confirmation process, therefore we encourage members of the community to send a picture with their sighting details, if possible. Information on shore-based sightings are also welcome. ›› For more information, visit or call 021 788 1206.


It is illegal to approach a whale and come within 300m of it in South African waters without a specific permit. SEA RESCUE / WINTER 2016 /


STATION DIRECTORY The NSRI is manned by more than 1 000 volunteers at 35 bases around the coast and on three inland dams. Our volunteers have day jobs but will always respond to your emergency. STN 2 StatCom: STN 3 StatCom: STN 4 StatCom: STN 5 StatCom: STN 6 StatCom: STN 7 StatCom: STN 8 StatCom: STN 9 StatCom: STN 10 StatCom: STN 11 StatCom: STN 12 StatCom: STN 14 StatCom: STN 15 StatCom: STN 16 StatCom:

BAKOVEN Bruce Davidson 082 990 5962 TABLE BAY Pat van Eyssen 082 990 5963 MYKONOS Casper Frylinck 082 990 5966 DURBAN Clifford Ireland 082 990 5948 PORT ELIZABETH Ian Gray 082 990 0828 EAST LONDON Geoff McGregor 082 990 5972 HOUT BAY Lyall Pringle 082 990 5964 GORDON’S BAY Anton Prinsloo 072 448 8482 SIMON’S TOWN Darren Zimmermann 082 990 5965 PORT ALFRED Juan Pretorius 082 990 5971 KNYSNA Jerome Simonis 082 990 5956 PLETTENBERG BAY Marc Rodgers (Acting) 082 990 5975 MOSSEL BAY André Fraser 082 990 5954 STRANDFONTEIN Mario Fredericks 082 990 6753

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STN 17 StatCom: STN 18 StatCom: STN 19 StatCom: STN 20 StatCom: STN 21 StatCom: STN 22 StatCom: STN 23 StatCom: STN 24 StatCom: STN 25 StatCom:

HERMANUS Deon Langenhoven 082 990 5967 MELKBOSSTRAND Rhine Barnes 082 990 5958 RICHARDS BAY Dorian Robertson 082 990 5949 SHELLY BEACH Jeremiah Jackson 082 990 5950 ST FRANCIS BAY Paul Hurley 082 990 5969 VAAL DAM Dick Manten 083 626 5128 WILDERNESS Hennie Niehaus 082 990 5955 LAMBERT’S BAY Marius Louw 060 960 3027 HARTBEESPOORT DAM Rod Pitter 082 990 5961

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STN 26 KOMMETJIE StatCom: Ian Klopper 082 990 5979 STN 27 VICTORIA LAKE, GERMISTON StatCom: Graham Hartlett 082 441 6989 STN 28A PORT ST JOHNS StatCom: John Costello 082 550 5430 STN 29 AIRBORNE SEA RESCUE StatCom: Andy Connell 082 990 5980 STN 30 AGULHAS StatCom: Reinard Geldenhuys 082 990 5952 STN 31 STILL BAY StatCom: Enrico Menezies 082 990 5978 STN 32 PORT EDWARD StatCom: John Nicholas 082 990 5951 STN 33 WITSAND StatCom: Attie Gunter 082 990 5957 STN 34 YZERFONTEIN StatCom: Willem Lubbe 082 990 5974 STN 35 WITBANK StatCom: Dean Wegerle 060 962 2620 STN 36 OYSTER BAY StatCom: Mark Mans 082 990 5968 STN 37 JEFFREYS BAY StatCom: Rieghard Janse van Rensburg 079 916 0390


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Data projectors and speakers or flat-screen TVs for training • GoPros or similar waterproof devices to film training sessions • Good-quality waterproof binoculars • Prizes for golf days and fundraising events • Towels for casualties • Groceries such as tea, coffee, sugar and cleaning materials • Long-life energy bars • Wet and dry vacuum cleaners • Dehumidifiers • Small generators • Good-quality toolkits • Top-up supplies for medical kits
 • Waterproof pouches for cellphones • Tea cups/coffee mugs/glasses for functions • Training room chairs. You can also make a cash or EFT donation and let us know which rescue base you would like to support. Cheques can be mailed to: NSRI, PO Box 154, Green Point 8051. Deposits can be made at:
ABSA, Heerengracht branch
Branch code: 506 009
Account number: 1382480607
 Account holder: National Sea Rescue Institute Swift code: ABSA-ZA-JJ If you choose to do an EFT, please use your telephone number as a unique reference so that we are able to acknowledge receipt.

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Available soon at most dive stores.

ZF IS PROPULSION Advert March 2016_v2.2.pdf 1 3/4/2016 2:47:33 PM

ZF IS PROPULSION Our Marine Service division covers the repair of ZF Marine gearboxes, sail drives, control systems and thrusters for pleasure, commercial and fast craft applications. Repairs are undertaken on-site as well as at our Cape Town branch, Marine competence centre. Johannesburg: +27 11 457 0000 I Cape Town: +27 21 950 6300 I

NSRI Sea Rescue Winter 2016  

Sea Rescue magazine is published three times a year for the National Sea Rescue Institute of South Africa and showcases the rescue efforts o...

NSRI Sea Rescue Winter 2016  

Sea Rescue magazine is published three times a year for the National Sea Rescue Institute of South Africa and showcases the rescue efforts o...