Mystery surrounds two red distress flares off KZN South Coast

mystery surrounds two red distress flares off kzn south coast

Mystery surrounds two red distress flares off KZN South Coast

Durban — The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) is monitoring the mysterious red distress flares deployed offshore of South Port Anerley Beach.

NSRI Shelly Beach station commander Gary Wolmarans said that at 8.30pm on Sunday, June 16, NSRI Shelly Beach duty crew were activated following eyewitness reports of what is believed to have been two red distress flares sighted 5 minutes apart at sea off-shore of South Port Anerley Beach.

Wolmarans said concerns increased after the eyewitnesses confirmed that at last light they had noticed a paddler behind the back breakers.

He said it is unknown if that paddler had come ashore or if that paddler had perhaps deployed the flares but there are no indications of anyone missing or unaccounted for.

“NSRI investigated and the KZN Surf Rescue Network was alerted,” Wolmarans said.

The Telkom Maritime Radio Services and Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) Durban Port Control assisted, he said.

“Despite no reports of anyone overdue or missing at sea the situation is continuing to be monitored but at this stage, it appears that the two red distress flares deployed offshore of South Port remain a mystery,” Wolmerans said.

“As a precaution, during the night, the NSRI Emergency Operations Centre (EOC), assisted by the NSRI training department, plotted a drift pattern, to determine where a paddler would be at first light if a paddler was adrift holding on to a paddle craft or adrift in a paddle craft.”

Meanwhile, in another incident on Saturday at 12pm, the NSRI Richards Bay duty crew was activated following reports of a fishing ski-boat that capsized offshore of Rooiwalle, Richard’s Bay, with three men onboard, reportedly in the water, 3 nautical miles offshore.

One casualty was able to raise the alarm using his phone.

NSRI Richard’s Bay duty coxswain Manie le Roux said the NSRI Richard’s Bay rescue craft Spirit of Round Table II was launched.

“On arrival on the scene, we found that all three men had been rescued from the water by the crew of a fellow fishing boat,” Le Roux said.

“The three men, from Pretoria, were not injured and they were transferred on to the NSRI rescue craft.

“NSRI rescue swimmers were deployed into the water and they secured rope to the capsized casualty ski-boat. Using our NSRI rescue craft we righted the casualty boat and towed her to the harbour, the Port of Richard’s Bay, without incident,” Le Roux said.

Le Roux commended the skipper and crew of the boat that assisted in rescuing the three men from the water.

“It appears that the casualty boat may have been capsized by a wave while they were fishing,” Le Roux added.

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