The duty crew of the NSRI in Port Alfred was activated on Tuesday evening following reports from a paddle craft hire company that seven German students were overdue after being expected to arrive at their destination on the Kowie River.
The students, four females and three males, aged in their early 20’s, all attending a local University, had hired paddle craft to paddle upstream on an incoming tide to overnight at a game lodge but they had failed to arrive as expected and their luggage had been delivered earlier by road.
“Our sea rescue craft Rescue 11 Alpha was launched and following a search they were found safe about 1.5 kilometres past their intended destination, about 14 kilometres upstream,” Station Commander Juan Pretorius said.
“It appears that they had gone past their intended destination as night fell and staff at the lodge concerned had raised the alarm. We took them onboard our sea rescue craft, rafted the four paddle craft to the sea rescue craft, and transported them to the lodge where staff were waiting to receive. Once safely delivered to their destination no further assistance was required.”