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03 Jun 2021

Stranded fishermen rescued by Port Edward NSRI

Shona Aylward (South Coast Herald) Picture: Port Edward/NSRI

NSRI Port Edward duty crew jumped into action to rescue two brothers reported by their sister to be stranded on the south side of Mzamba River mouth on Monday night. Tokkie Livingstone, NSRI Port Edward deputy station commander, said they had crossed the river to go fishing and, while fishing, heavy rains had rapidly caused the river to flood. This prevented them from getting back across the river and they had waited out the night to see if the swollen river would subside.

“They were beginning to show signs of hypothermia and there were no indications that the swollen river would subside on Tuesday morning.”

NSRI Port Edward wild coast sun Rescuer. Picture: / Sea Rescue

The two cellphones that they had were lost during an initial attempt to cross the river when they first noticed that the river was beginning to rise but fortunately they had carried a back-up analog cellphone. They used that back-up phone to raise the alarm declaring that they now needed help.

It’s estimated that a road trip to reach the south side of the river, with the added complications of roadways washed away by floods, would have taken about four or five hours. Mr Livingstone said the decision was taken for NSRI Port Edward crew to launch its sea rescue jet-rib, Rescue 32 Alpha, onto the river to carry out the rescue.

They were brought safely across the river, one at a time, and taken to the station where they were treated for hypothermia. Once fully recovered they were collected by their sister and no further assistance was required.

NSRI commendeds the fishermen for staying on the river banks and calling for help rather than trying to cross a flooded river.