Jerome Simonis, NSRI Knysna station commander, said: At 13h37, Tuesday, 28 July, NSRI Knysna duty crew were activated to respond to a RHIB (Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat) capsized at the Knysna Heads.
The sea rescue craft Eileen Meadway, Jaytee IV and Jolen were launched and a WC Government Health EMS rescue squad, SA Police Services, Police Sea Borderline Control and an SA National Defence Force (SANDF) ambulance responded.
SA National Parks were placed on alert.
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 RHIB’s that had capsized, were found safe on a fellow SANDF RHIB.
One soldier had suffered an arm injury.
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 meter swells.
It appears that the casualty RHIB capsized after being broadsided by a wave near to Emu Rock.