In Langebaan a Skipper swims almost 4km for friend
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In Langebaan a Skipper swims almost 4km for friend

A skipper swam 3.7km to get help for his friend when his boat capsized at a popular diving reef called Needles near Langebaan yesterday.

Robert Guthrie, 47, of Langebaan and his friend Deon Louw, of Hopefield, were spear-fishing when their open-decked boat capsized at about 1.30pm yesterday.

Leaving Louw perched on the hull of the boat, Guthrie, a member of the defence force, swam to the nearby Malgas Island raise the alarm.

But the NSRI’s spokesperson Craig Lambinon said when Guthrie reached the island, he found no one there, so swam on to the mainland at Malgas to the naval base, where he alerted the duty officer, who raised the alarm.

The navy launched its harbour patrol boat while the NSRI Mykonos launched its rescue craft Gemini Rescuer.

Darius van Niekerk, Sea Rescue Mykonos station commander said when they arrived on the scene, Louw was still sitting on the upturned hull and was taken on board the navy patrol boat.

The NSRI and the navy personnel righted the craft and the NSRI towed it back to its base at Mykonos harbour.

“Neither of the two men was injured and, once safely ashore, they required no further assistance,” he added.

Earlier, NSRI volunteers were called to a stricken I&J fishing trawler, St Blaize, which was drifting without power between Plettenberg Bay and St Francis Bay after fouling its propellers with a rope. It had a crew of 11 aboard.

Gary Ryder, Sea Rescue St Francis Bay station commander, said: “At approximately midday, sea rescue Plettenberg Bay was placed on alert to monitor the progress of the I&J fishing trawler.

“The vessel and her crew were in no immediate danger. The rope is believed to have fouled the propellers while they were fishing.”

NSRI St Francis Bay volunteers and a diver launched the Spirit of St Francis II, and once the rescue boat reached the trawler, the diver went down and cleared the prop.

“The trawler then motored safely to St Francis Bay, escorted by our sea rescue boat, where damage will be assessed.”

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