Ricochet News

Tragedy averted as father and son rescued in Port Elizabeth

FEBRUARY 27, 2017
Tragedy averted as father and son rescued in Port Elizabeth

A Port Elizabeth father and son were reunited with their family on Sunday after a fishing outing nearly turned into a tragedy.  

"At 13h11, Sunday, we received a call from Mrs Meier reporting that Wian Meier, 21, and Ewald Meier, 53, (her husband and her son), from Port Elizabeth, who had gone fishing on two kayaks at 10h30 - launching at Hobie Beach, Port Elizabeth ,were in trouble in the vicinity off-shore of Hobie Beach," described Ian Gray, National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) Port Elizabeth station commander.

"It appears, according to their report, that at about 12h30, while paddling and fishing, Ewald had realised that his sea-kayak was taking on water (later found to be the water bung had been lost from unknown causes).

"His kayak foundered in the water and he ended up in the water."

Gray said that Wian phoned his mom to raise the alarm and his mom alerted sea rescue.

"Our NSRI Port Elizabeth duty crew launched the sea rescue craft Eikos Rescuer IV.

"The yacht Odalisque, skippered by owner Roger Cadey, with 3 crew onboard (one of which was our off duty NSRI Station 6 radio operator Hiedren Wasserman).," he added.

"The yacht happened to be in the vicinity at the time and they spotted a kayak that seemed to be in difficulty - as they changed direction to sail closer to investigate they then spotted a paddle waving (indicating that the people at the kayak were signalling for help) - they sailed close to the kayaks making a pass and they threw their 'Man Overboard' (MOB) life ring and were able to rescue Ewald onto their yacht. They then made a second pass and took Wian onboard their yacht."

Both father and son had been in the water for about 30 minutes close to the Bell Buoy nearly one nautical mile out to sea.

"Our sea rescue craft arrived on the scene and picked up the two kayaks.

"Both casualties had initially elected to stay on yacht where the dad was given a jacket by yacht crew to help him to rewarm," said Gray.

"Our sea rescue craft took their paddle boards back to shore but we were re-called to the yacht after it was found that Ewald was suffering from hypothermia and we took both casualties off the yacht and brought them to our sea rescue base where they were reunited with family while we rewarmed them and after rewarming they required no further assistance.

"We have commended the skipper and his crew on the yacht Odalisque for assisting."