Ricochet News

Lucky escape for 11 crew and tourists after boat capsizes in the Knysna Heads

Jul 5, 2018
Lucky escape for 11 crew and tourists after boat capsizes in the Knysna Heads

Authorities in Knysna are investigating how a boat carrying crew and several tourists capsized in the Knysna Heads.

According to Jerome Simonis, National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) Knysna station commander, at 13h21, on Wednesday, the NSRI Knysna duty crew were activated following a report from the restaurant staff at East Head Cafe, who witnessed a boat capsize in the Knysna Heads, just North of Island Rock.

"Our NSRI duty crew responded to our sea rescue base and the sea rescue craft Eileen Meadway, Jaytee IV and Jolen were launched and we arrived on the scene within 7 minutes of being activated," he described.

"NSRI shore crew including 2 NSRI station doctors responded to our sea rescue base to stand-by.

"ER24 ambulance services, WC Government Health EMS, SA Police Services, Knysna Fire and Rescue Services and SA National Park rangers had also been activated."

Simonis added that all 11 people onboard the capsized charter 8.9 meter rigid inflatable boat Moonraker, of Knysna Rib Adventures, were rescued onto sea rescue craft and they were brought safely to shore to our sea rescue base where NSRI medical crew.

"Our two NSRI doctors medically triaged patients and onlytwo were found to be in need of medical care (a husband and wife, from The Netherlands, were treated for non-fatal drowning symptoms and the husband who also has a pre-existing medical condition and it was decided to have both of them transported to hospital as a precaution)," he said.

"Sea conditions were three to four meter swells.

"The casualty crew include a local male skipper and eight male and three female tourists - six are from the Netherlands and four are from Germany."

He said that only two casualties, a husband and his wife, from The Netherlands, have been transported to hospital by ER24 ambulance as a precautionary measure for observation for Non-Fatal drowning symptoms and the husband, who has a pre-existing medical condition that warranted the precaution of ambulance transportation to hospital hospital for medical evaluation of the pre-existing medical condition but both patients are in stable conditions.

"The remaining eight tourists and the local skipper, are not injured, and the eight tourists have been transported to their various respective lodgings in Knysna," Simonis described.

"The casualty boat has not been recovered and remains in rough waters at the Western side of Knysna Heads.

"Once sea conditions are favourable the owners will investigate recovery of the casualty boat."

He said that the SAMSA (South African Maritime Safety Authority) will investigate the capsizing.

"NSRI can confirm that both the husband and wife transported to hospital are well and their release from hospital is imminant."