20/05/2006 22:12 - (SA) Port Shepstone - The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) is monitoring a mysterious situation on the KZN south coast.
"Numerous" eye-witnesses reported an unidentified flying object crashing into the sea on Saturday.
NSRI Shelley Beach station commander, Eddie Noyons, said eye-witnesses had reported an unidentified object - possibly an aircraft - crashing into the sea behind the breaker line off-shore of the Port Shepstone High School.
Police, rescue craft and a fixed wing aircraft were alerted to the scene to investigate.
Noyons said: "Following a full-scale search of the area covering 12 square nautical miles nothing has been found.
"There are no reports of activity in the area that may be related to this incident and there are no aircraft reported overdue or missing."
He said numerous eye-witnesses - including teachers and pupils attending a sports event at the high school, by-standers and local fishermen - were convinced they had seen an aircraft go into the water.
They said they saw smoke and described "water exploding".
Some also reported seeing flames.
Noyons said: "Some reported seeing something, an unidentified object, splash into the sea causing a ripple effect of waves."
Noyons said it was being presumed that weather activity in the area at the time might have given the impression of something falling into the sea.
"We will continue to monitor the situation, which remains a mystery," he said.
No sign of 'UFO' - NSRI-21/05/2006 19:37 - (SA)
Port Shepstone - An apparent "UFO" that was reported to have crashed into the sea off Port Shepstone on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast.
But, National Sea Rescue Institute spokesperson Craig Lambinon says nothing has been found yet, despite an extensive search over an area covering 12 square nautical miles.
The mysterious object that "crashed" into the sea behind the breaker-line off-shore of Port Shepstone High School about 12:20 on Saturday, has raised a frenzy of interest worldwide.
The number of readers who have clicked on the report carried by News24 reached more than 30 000 by 18:00 on Sunday afternoon.
Lambinon said on Sunday evening: "Witnesses said they thought they saw an unidentified object, possibly an aircraft, crash into the sea, but absolutely nothing has been found.
"Police and the NSRI offices in Shelley Beach and Port Edward responded to the call that something had crashed into the sea. "
Some even saw flames
Margate air traffic control also searched the area with a fixed-wing aircraft.
Numerous witnesses, including pupils and teachers at a school sports event, and fishermen were convinced they saw an aircraft go into the water.
"They saw smoke and water exploding. Some even saw flames.
"Some reported seeing an unidentified object splash into the sea causing a ripple of waves," said Lambinon.
"There are no reports of activity in the area that may be related to this incident and there are no aircraft reported to be overdue or missing.
"The number of witness reports leads us to presume that weather activity in the area at the time may have given the impression of something falling into the sea.
"We will continue to monitor the situation, which remains a mystery," said Lambinon, adding: "If ever there was something..."
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