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Yacht crew saves kayakers

The swift reaction of two couples on a local yacht has contributed to saving the lives of a man and a woman who capsized on their sea-kayak on Sunday 11 October.

It is believed that the yacht crew had rescued a 32-year-old man and a 29-year-old woman from the water after hearing their cries for help.

Marc de Vos, National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) Table Bay station commander, says NSRI duty controllers intercepted urgent radio communications from the local yacht, Savannah.

“Yacht Savannah requested urgent medical assistance for a 32-year-old man and a 29-year-old woman. The four crew (the two couples) on yacht Savannah found the couple in the water near Robben Island. On investigating they had found the two casualties in the water hanging onto their waterlogged sea kayak,” De Vos says.

He adds that the two kayakers may have been in the nine to 10 °C water for at least an hour.

“The casualties had reportedly launched at Three Anchor Bay at around 10:00 and capsized in the vicinity of Robben Island. It is believed that they may have capsized around 15:00 after their sea kayak became waterlogged. While the two couples on the Savannah had finished having lunch near Robben Island, they were departing to head back to Port when they heard cries for help, at first thinking it was seagulls making the noise. But the cries for help continued and on investigating, they located the two kayakers in the water hanging onto their sea kayak,” De Vos says.

While the yacht crew initiated emergency rewarming measures for hypothermia, the skipper raised the alarm and began heading the yacht towards the Port of Table Bay. De Vos says the kayakers were exhausted and hypothermic.

“Our sea rescue craft, Spirit of Day, was launched.

ER24 ambulance services were activated to stand-by at our sea rescue station at the V&A Waterfront.

WC Government Health EMS Metro Control and the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre were alerted. Our sea rescue craft rendezvoused with the yacht off-shore of the Port of Table Bay. NSRI medics were transferred onto the yacht and they assisted the yacht crew to medically stabilise the casualties,” De Vos explains.

The two kayakers were brought to the NSRI Table Bay sea rescue station and they were transported to hospital by ER24 ambulance for further medical care.

De Vos says both are in a stable condition.

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