At 14h36, Sunday, 31st July, NSRI Port Alfred duty crew were activated by the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) following reports of a paddler in difficult upstream of the Kowie River in the vicinity of the Mansfield Game Reserve.
4 females, aged in their 20’s and believed to be students at the local 43 Air School, had paddled upstream on rented canoes.
When they reached their destination one paddler had already dropped off her paddle on the shore (as she was about to get off her canoe) when she and her canoe were swept upstream by wind and without her paddle she was not able to paddle back to the river bank and she disappeared upstream.
Her concerned friends were reluctant to go after her fearing that they may get into difficulties themselves and they raised the alarm.
The Sea Rescue craft Rescue 11 Alpha was launched and on arrival on the scene, 9km upstream of the Kowie River, the 3 females who reported their friend swept away were found on the river bank and they pointed out the direction that their missing friend had been swept away and NSRI went further upstream searching for the missing paddler.
The female paddler was found safe on a river bank (which she had been blown onto) a further half a kilometer upstream.
The female and her canoe were brought downstream aboard the NSRI sea rescue craft where she was reunited with her friends who were relieved that she was safe and no further assistance was required.
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