Diver NSRI - 2 Good Samaritans Rescue 4 Locals in Distress | Rescued
Photo Credit: NSRI

The National Sea Rescue Institute, police, ambulance services and kind volunteers rescued a father and son who went missing while diving near Shelly Beach in KwaZulu-Natal.


KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa (22 December 2022) – Two missing divers were rescued after being reported missing after boat crew members failed to find them for over an hour.

The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) is a voluntary non-profit organization in South Africa tasked with saving lives through drowning prevention. It operates 41 bases comprising coastal stations and inland stations on dams, and there are over a thousand volunteers on standby at all hours.

“NSRI Shelly Beach duty crew were activated after a local boat, with a crewman of the boat onboard, arrived at Ramsgate reporting that two divers, a local father and son, who had been diving from the boat, were missing and were last known to be diving in the vicinity of 7nm off Ramsgate and were adrift in their wet suits and scuba dive gear,” Gary Wolmerans, NSRI Shelly Beach station commander.

The crew members had searched for over an hour but, failing to find the two divers, had raced to Ramsgate to raise the alarm.

Five local men, including skippers of private boats, members of Ramsgate Ski-boat club and commercial skippers, responded to the last known position of the two divers while raising the alarm.

Rescue boats, helicopters and ambulance services were dispatched to assist the missing divers while lifeguards searched for some sign of life in the water along the shoreline.

“The rescue team then saw a red distress flare set off in the ocean, around seven nautical miles off-shore of Palm Beach and nine nautical miles South of where the father and son had originally gone missing.”

On arriving at that location, the NSRI Port Edward team found a private boat had located and recovered the father from the water but the son was still missing. It took another 45 minutes to locate the son but thankfully, another volunteer helping with the search found him alive in the water.

The NSRI provided both the father and son with refreshments while treating them for dehydration, hypothermia and exhaustion. Luckily after checking, both were okay.

“The NSRI stations 20, 32, 5, MRCC, Transnet National Ports Authority, The Portnet helicopter, NSRI EOC, Telkom Maritime Radio Services, lifeguards, Med-Evac ambulance services and the SA Police Services Police Search and Rescue commend everyone involved in this operation for the swift reaction – with a special thanks to the private and commercial boats, private aircraft, Margate Air Traffic Control duty controllers and Colonel Pine Pienaar.”

Sources: The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI)
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