On Friday 15 September 2017, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) Table Bay duty crew in Cape Town were summoned to a Mayday distress call from the Robben Island passenger ferry Thandi, who was reported to be taking water. The ferry was returning to Cape Town from the island when the incident occurred.
On arrival on the scene the ferry was found to be listing to one side from water intake from unknown causes and some of the passengers were found to be in life rafts. The remaining crew and passengers were on the deck of the casualty ferry. There were a total of 68 passengers and crew onboard.
All passengers and crew of the casualty ferry were transferred by NSRI Spirit of Day from the casualty ferry and from life rafts onto the Madiba 1 and onto NSRI’s Spirit of Vodacom and brought to the Port of Table Bay where they were assessed by paramedics and only a few passengers were treated for mild hypothermia.
Captured on video
Paula Leech, NSRI Volunteer, said: “As a non-profit organisation, NSRI rely on donations. The videos and pictures we take on rescues create an awareness for who we are and what we do and hopefully inspires new donors. We also use them internally for training as we’re constantly looking for ways to improve our service.
The sea rescue was captured by phone using a Cat S60 rugged smartphone.
The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) is the emergency service that is called when anyone is in trouble at sea on the coast of South Africa. The NSRI is a charity that has over one thousand unpaid volunteers who respond 24/7/365 to save lives on South African waters.
Quentin Botha, NSRI Table Bay station commander, said, “Following the successful rescue of passengers from the Robben Island passenger ferry Thandi, and once all of the casualty crew and passengers were safely taken to the Port of Table Bay the NSRI Table Bay sea, rescue craft Spirit of Vodacom went back out to sea to join the NSRI Headquarters sea rescue craft Spirit of Round Table and the NSRI Hout Bay sea rescue craft Albie Matthews at n the scene at the listing casualty ferry. A towline was rigged from the sea rescue craft Spirit of Vodacom onto the casualty ferry and the casualty ferry was towed to Murray’s Bay Harbour at Robben Island.
Once safely berthed, water extrication pumps were used by NSRI crew and the casualty ferry was pumped free of water and re-floated and secured to a berthing where she remains berthed at Murray’s Bay Harbour, Robben Island.”
At the moment, the NSRI teams have roughly 50 company cell phones – of those 36 of them are Cat rugged smartphones. Each rescue base is allocated an “Emergency Phone” which are all Cat phones. They started off with the Cat B15Q and when the contracts came up for renewal they moved to the Cat S30.
For the full story and press release, please read here.
To find out more about the NSRI, read our previous story here.