Darren Zimmerman, NSRI Simonstown station commander, said; “At 12h05, Sunday, 06th September, NSRI Simonstown duty crew were activated following reports of 2 sailing dinghy’s capsized outside of the Simonstown harbour during a Rotary Scout sailing regatta.
“It appears that a sailing regatta that commenced during favourable winds had been called off when wind speeds increased in a short space of time (over about half an hour) to a North Westerly 30 to 35 knot gusting wind but as the sailing dinghy’s retired from the regatta to return to the harbour two of the dinghy’s capsized in the gusting winds.
“NSRI Simonstown were at sea at the time and diverted the sea rescue craft SPIRIT OF SAFMARINE III to respond to the call.
“A safety rescue boat tending to the regatta had assisted the one dinghy, rescuing Scouts from the water who were not injured from that capsized dinghy, but on arrival on the scene our sea rescue craft found the second dinghy upturned with 4 males and a female, all Scouts, aged between 13 and 16, from Muizenberg, Lakeside and Hanover Park, all wearing life-jackets and clinging to the upturned hull of their capsized dinghy.
“By that stage wind conditions had increased and all 5 scouts were rescued onto our sea rescue craft despite adverse sea conditions and the strong winds that contributed to making this a difficult rescue operation to recover the teenagers from the water.
“All 5 scouts were safely rescued and they were all treated for hypothermia and 3 of the male scouts were also treated for near drowning symptoms.
“Safely aboard our sea rescue craft they were brought to our sea rescue base and CMR (Cape Medical Response) paramedics were on hand to assist with treatment and as a precautionary measure the 3 male teenagers suffering near drowning symptoms were transported to hospital by CMR ambulance in stable conditions for observation for secondary drowning and for continuing treatment for hypothermia. The remaining teenage male and female were released requiring no further assistance following successful treatment for hypothermia at our sea rescue base.
“All are expected to fully recover.”