Daniel Heimann, NSRI Port Elizabeth duty coxswain, said; “At 13h02 NSRI Port Elizabeth volunteer sea rescue duty crew were activated following eye-witness reports of a boat appearing to be in difficulty in the surf-line off-shore of Bushy Park Farm, between Sardinia Bay and Sea View, Port Elizabeth.
“Our NSRI Port Elizabeth volunteer sea rescue duty crew responded to the scene towing our sea rescue craft BOARDWALK RESCUER which we launched on-scene.
“Nelson Mandela Bay Municipal Surf Lifesaving and the SA Police Services Sea Border Line also responded.
“The surf lifeguards also launched their rescue rubber-duck to back us up.
“An NSRI look-out had spotted the boat being bashed by waves at the back-line.
“On our arrival at the boat we found an approximately aged 40 year old male, from Swartkops, on the rubber-duck and we took the casualty boat under tow and towed her, accompanied by the surf lifesaving boat, safely to the beach where it was recovered.
“The man, who was not injured, told us that others that had been on the boat with him but they had managed to swim to shore and they were safe and required no further assistance.
“It appears that the boat had suffered mechanical motor failure and had drifted into the surf-line before all of the crew except one left the craft and swam ashore. It was not determined how many people were on the boat but it has been confirmed that they are all accounted for.”
Editor: Now who leaves a stricken boat to swim for shore? One of the rules of the sea is that you must stay with your boat until it sinks or you are rescued. One wonders if the crewman’s buddies had less than altruistic reasons to abandon their friend? What a pity now that all people from Swartkops will be tarred with the same brush/suspicions!
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