man rescued

A motorist was rescued after he climbed a tree during flash floods in KZN. Image: NSRI.

LOOK: Man who climbed a tree after his vehicle got stuck rescued

A man who had climbed a tree after his vehicle got stuck in the fast flowing Umbilo River was successfully rescued.

man rescued

A motorist was rescued after he climbed a tree during flash floods in KZN. Image: NSRI.

A man who was stuck on a tree on the Umbilo River, near Heaton Nicholls Drive was successfully rescued on Tuesday night in Pinetown, KwaZulu-Natal.

According to the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) at least four vehicles were reportedly washed off the Umbilo River bridge at Heaton Nicholls Drive in flash floods that battered parts of KZN on Tuesday. 


According to the rescue institute one vehicle had reportedly been stuck against a tree where the local adult male driver had managed to free himself from the vehicle and he had climbed the tree to escape the fast flowing flooded river that had broken its banks.

NSRI Durban swift water rescue swimmers responded along with Netcare 911 and eThekwini Fire and Rescue Services 

The institute’s swift water rescue swimmers approached the scene from the M13 Freeway side – North of the casualty as they discovered that the Heaton Nicholl Drive side of the Umbilo River was under heavy floods upon their arrival. Heaton Nicholl Drive bridge is said to have been at least a metre under fast flowing water

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NSRI said the man could be seen high in a tree with flood waters washing around the tree and over his vehicle which was on its side and appeared to be wrapped around the tree.

Safety ropes were set up. An NSRI swift water rescue swimmer entered the chest deep water reaching the 51-year-old man where he was secured into a life-jacket and secured to the swift water rescue swimmer.

“They entered the water using a safety rope that had been attached to the opposite river bank and the ferry glided along that rope through the water towards the safe river bank.

“On safely reaching the river bank NSRI, Fire and S.T.A.R.T. rescue members assisted them from the fast flowing river,” the rescue institute said. 

After being rescued the man was medically assessed by paramedics and he was not injured. He was then driven home by NSRI.

NSRI has appealed to motorists and pedestrians not to cross over roadway bridges that are flooded and not to try to negotiate water logged roadways.