Ian Gray, NSRI Port Elizabeth station commander, said:
At 08h10, Tuesday, 03 September, NSRI Port Elizabeth duty crew were activated by the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) following a request for assistance from a SA National Parks rigid inflatable boat with 4 SAN Parks crew onboard reporting to be in distress between Nqura Port and Bird Island after part of their pontoon was separated after hitting a wave.
The sea rescue craft JLK Rescuer was launched and MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre) assisted by Telkom Maritime Radio Services diverted commercial fishing boats to attend.
On NSRI’s arrival on the scene the crew were found safe with damage found to be sustained to the pontoon that had separated.
3 of the 4 crew were transferred onto the sea rescue craft and the SAN Parks skipper remained onboard the casualty boat.
Supplies that they were transporting to Bird Island were transferred onto the sea rescue craft.
A towline was rigged and we towed the casualty boat without incident to Nqura Port and once their boat was recovered no further assistance was required.