The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) came to the assistance of a South African National Defence Force (SANDF) boat that capsized at the Knysna Heads on 28 July.
The NSRI said all crew were safe, with one injured soldier in a stable condition.
Jerome Simonis, NSRI Station 12, Knysna station commander, said that on Tuesday afternoon, NSRI Knysna duty crew were activated to respond to a RHIB (Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat) that had capsized at the Knysna Heads.
The sea rescue craft Eileen Meadway, Jaytee IV and Jolen were launched and a Western Cape Government Health Emergency Medical Services rescue squad, SA Police Services, Police Sea Borderline Control and an SA National Defence Force ambulance responded.
“On arrival on the scene we found four SANDF Waterborne Unit RHIB’s in attendance and all five adult male crew, SANDF members, who had been on one of the SANDF RHIBs that had capsized, were found safe on a fellow SANDF RHIB. One soldier had suffered an arm injury,” the NSRI said.
SANDF members had righted the casualty RHIB which had sustained damage during the capsizing.
NSRI took the casualty RHIB under tow and all craft departed for Thesen Island through challenging sea conditions.
After all craft reached Thesen Island on Knysna Lagoon safely without incident the casualty RHIB was recovered.
The injured soldier, in a stable condition, was transported to hospital by an SANDF ambulance.
It was confirmed that the four SANDF RHIBS, while on a training exercise, were approaching Knysna Heads and in relays, one after the other, they were negotiating to come through the Heads into Knysna Lagoon, in 2 to 3 metre swells.
It appears that the casualty RHIB capsized after being broadsided by a wave near to Emu Rock, the NSRI said.