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Photo Credit: NSRI

The Yzerfontein NSRI performed a rescue of a family who had been thrown into the ocean after their boat capsized; the events of the rescue left us in awe.


Yzerfontein, South Africa (07 July 2022) – The NSRI never fail to be heroes, saving lives and giving families peace during tragic events. Every rescue is worthy of praise but a recent rescue in Yzerfontein reads like something out of a Hollywood movie.

Every detail of the event and subsequent rescue had us in awe! Junre Marais, the Yzerfontein station commander, was alerted to a distress call on the 6th of July 2022, shortly after lunchtime. The call came in to ask for help. The woman on the other end explained that she and her family were clinging to the hull of their capsized boat.

“At 12h59, Wednesday, 6 July, NSRI Yzerfontein duty crew were activated following a distress phone call from a lady reporting that she, her husband, her dad and her son were on a boat capsized 200 meters off-shore of Yzerfontein harbour and they were clinging onto the upturned hull of the capsized boat.

Our duty crew responded to our NSRI rescue station and the NSRI rescue craft Rescue 34 was launched.

On arrival on the scene all 4 casualties were rescued onto our NSRI rescue craft and they were brought to shore safely.

They were treated at our NSRI rescue station for hypothermia before being released requiring no further medical assistance.”

The report above, issued by commander Marais is straightforward enough but the events that led up to the rescue are what truly spark movie inspiration. We are so thankful the family were able to remain calm and work their way through this harrowing event. Their actions most definitely led to this happy ending!

“It appears that the family, skipper, 43, his wife, 39, their son, 8, from Durbanville, and his wife’s dad, 65, from Yzerfontein, during a morning recreational fishing trip they were returning from Dassen Island.

On their approach towards Yzerfontein harbour their boat capsized near to the Dolosse after a breaking wave washed over their boat.

After being thrown off the boat they were able to swim towards the upturned hull of the boat and clamber onto the upturned hull but there was no sign of the 8-year-old.

Despite struggling to hold onto the hull the dad and grandfather were removing their jackets and shoes to initiate a search for the child when at that moment the child emerged from under the boat.

We believe that the child was trapped under the boat in a pocket of air and realising that the buoyancy of his life-jacket would prevent him from escaping from under the hull he removed his life-jacket which enabled him to dive under the boat and swim out from under the boat.

He popped up from underwater to the relief of his family.

They hauled him onboard the upturned hull of the boat.

All four casualties were clinging onto the upturned hull of the boat adrift in heavy sea swells that were washing over them.

The female, using her phone that she had in her jacket pocket, which to their surprise was working despite being submerged in sea water, phoned NSRI, raising the alarm.

Describing their peril – herself, her husband, their child and her dad were trapped on the hull of the capsized boat – she requested urgent NSRI assistance.

It appears that there were no eye-witnesses to the capsizing and the only call NSRI received was thanks to the phone, in the jacket of the female casualty, that was used to raise the alarm.

NSRI commend the child for his quick thinking to remove his life jacket to enable his escape from under the capsized boat.

The NSRI work throughout South Africa, to save lives and educate about water safety and drowning prevention. The teams are made up of heroic, well-trained volunteers and people dedicated to helping where they can. You can find out more about the NSRI via the website here.

Sources: NSRI – Supplied
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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