STATEMENT BY NSRI SHELLY BEACH STATION COMMANDER JEREMIAH JACKSON:
At 09h40, Friday, 08th December, NSRI Shelly Beach duty crew were activated by the Shelly Beach Tower of 10 divers reported to be missing off-shore of Shelly Beach during a charter dive.
It appears that the skipper of a dive charter boat fell overboard after the craft hit a wave but managing to swim back to the boat he raised the alarm while starting a search for the dive marker buoy that he had lost sight of during the man overboard incident.
All charter and private boats, in the vicinity at the time, as per standard protocol, diverted to assist and NSRI Shelly Beach, NSRI Rocky Bay, NSRI Port Edward prepared to launch to assist and the Police Search and Rescue, a Police helicopter and an SA Air Force Squadron 15 Oryx helicopter and an NSRI ASR (Airborne Sea Rescue) team were alerted by MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre).
Almost immediately, as preparations for a search and rescue operation were getting into gear, the charter dive boat found the dive marker buoy and no further assistance was required.
NSRI have commended the dive charter boat skipper, the dive charter boat companies (along the KZN South Coast) for their quick actions and the support to their fellow dive charter boat that was displayed in a rapid deployment this morning and the successful conclusion.
The charter dive continued without incident.