A dramatic rescue took place off Sea Point coast at the weekend after the rising tide trapped four people on the rocks near Winchester Maansions Hotel.
NSRI spokesperson Craig Lambinon said the rescue organisation activated its Bakoven, Table Bay and Air Sea Rescue (ASR) crews on Saturday, March 4, at 4.28pm following eyewitness reports of two adults and two children, a 14-year-old boy and a six-year-old girl, trapped by the rising tide on rocks below the promenade wall .
Various other emergency services joined the rescue, including the police, Fire and Rescue Service divers, ambulances and a helicopter.
A private rigid inflatable boat carrying off-duty NSRI crew diverted to investigate and found the four on the rocks threatened by three to four metre breaking swells. The boat’s skipper NSRI honorary life governor Howard Godfrey realised the swells would make a boat rescue impossible.
Fearing that the four on the rocks might try to swim to safety, Mr Godfrey used a loud hailer to warn them not to leave the safety of the rock they were standing on as help was on its way.
Mr Lambinon said that when other rescuers arrived they realised there were only about 10 minutes remaining before the tide swept over the rocks where the four were trapped and “a rescue by boat from the sea side was indeed not possible”, he said.
Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services, using ladders and ropes, swiftly deployed their rescue divers over the wall of the promenade and they plucked all four people to safety.
Paramedics treated them for shock but they were otherwise uninjured.
“They confirmed that they had been caught by surprised by the rise in the tide,” said Mr Lambinon.