Rangers rescued after being swept out to sea

A SANParks ranger and an intern, who were swept out to sea after their dinghy apparently hit a rock near Bird Island, have been rescued.

NSRI spokesperson, Craig Lambinon, said the two men, who are stationed at Bird Island, had apparently gone out to do boat checks in the afternoon when they lost the motor after hit a rock.

Lambinon said the men’s bad luck continued when the cellphone they had taken with them for emergencies, fell into the water while they were trying to retrieve the motor, thus preventing them from contacting anyone for help.

However, Lambinon said colleagues on shore had spotted them frantically trying to row to shore, but the wind was too strong, and a rescue was initiated.

The NSRI stations in Port Elizabeth and Port Alfred, as well as the crew of another SANParks vessel, launched a search for the men shortly after sunset.

“They were found at about midnight, four nautical miles off Bird Island,” Lambinon said.

They were treated for mild hyperthermia after being in the boat for about seven hours.