Juan Pretorius, NSRI Port Alfred station commander, said:
“At 19h00, Tuesday, 20th March, NSRI Port Alfred duty crew were activated following reports from a paddle craft hire company of 7 German students overdue after being expected to arrive at their destination up river on the Kowie River.
The 7 students, 4 females and 3 males, aged in their early 20’s, all attending a local University, had hired paddle craft to paddle upstream in 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 kilometers past their intended destination, about 14 kilometers upstream.
It appears that as night fell they had gone past their intended destination and staff at the lodge concerned had raised the alarm.
We took them onboard our sea rescue craft, rafted the 4 paddle craft to the sea rescue craft, and transported them to the lodge without incident where staff were waiting to receive them and once safely delivered to their destination no further assistance was required.”