NSRI Gqeberha rescues beached dolphin and swimmer within minutes of each other

Monday 16 October 2023

Kevin Warren, NSRI Gqeberha duty coxswain, said: On Saturday, 14 October, at 14h08, NSRI Gqeberha STATION 6 were activated to respond to Sardinia Bay to assist Bayworld at a scene where a dolphin beached.

Bayworld and the NMB (Nelson Mandela Bay) Marine Animal Stranding Network had been alerted by public members reporting their finding the dolphin alive and beached in shallow surf.

An NSRI rescue craft, Rescue 6 Alpha, was prepared to be launched while an NSRI rescue vehicle and NSRI crew, in private vehicles, responded to join Bayworld marine scientists and Bayworld staff at the scene.

On arrival on the scene the Dolphin, deemed to be in good health, was secured into a specialized marine animal stretcher and loaded onto a Bayworld vehicle before being transported to NSRI Gqeberha rescue station in the care of marine scientists and NSRI rescuers.

The dolphin was transferred onto Rescue 6 Alpha that had been prepared for the operation.

In the care of NSRI and Bayworld the adult male Bottle Nose Dolphin, with superficial and some minor injuries, suggesting that the dolphin may have had a scuffle with a shark, was transported 5 nautical miles off-shore and released into Algoa Bay in a complex rescue operation in a rough sea state.

The dolphin appeared to swim away strongly after surfacing once for a breath.

A Bayworld marine scientist is cautiously optimistic that the dolphin, appearing to be in good health, will survive.

While returning to the NSRI Gqeberha rescue station, at 17h26, NSRI were alerted to reports of a drowning in progress at Hobie Beach Pier.

The NSRI rescue craft, Rescue 6 Alpha, diverted to respond while the NMB water rescue network was activated.

NSRI rescue swimmers, EC Government Health EMS and the SA Police Services responded while NMB water rescue network resources were mobilized.

On arrival on the scene public members on the beach were instrumental in directing the NSRI rescue craft towards a 23 year old local man that was in the breaking surf line.

The NSRI rescue craft negotiated breaking waves to reach the man who was rescued onto the NSRI rescue craft and brought to the NSRI rescue station where he was assessed by paramedics.

Requiring no medical treatment, he was transported to Hobie Beach by road to collect his personal vehicle.

We believe that while swim training, he had been caught in strong rip currents that prevented him from getting back to shore.

Public members who assisted at Hobie Beach are commended for their efforts.

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