Twelve fishermen abandoned their chokka boat after it ran aground just off the Port of St Francis in the early hours of Monday morning.
The 48 foot chokka boat, called Barcelona, ran aground near Shark Point, about 1.5 nautical miles South East of the Port.
Rescue workers are on the scene assessing the damage.
At the time of the incident, surf conditions were about 4m with rain and wind blowing at 15 knots in a westerly direction.
NSRI spokesman Craig Lambinon said the St Francis Bay duty crew were alerted by the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre to assist.
Lambinon said that the boat broadcast a mayday distress call reporting to be running aground.
“The private ski-boat, Pescavore, with an NSRI crewman onboard responded to the scene to investigate. Other boats including the Chokka boat Oranda and Sea Cat and the ski-boat Virago had also responded to assist,” he said.
Lambinon added that other boats who had also intercepted the distress call had also gone to assist. “All 12 crew members of Barcelona were found to be abandoning their vessel onto rocks where the vessel had run hard aground from unknown causes.
While the crew were abandoning the vessel and jumping onto the nearby rocks, one of the sailors had been “swamped by waves”.
Lambinon said a land crew had approached the scene and found the 12 crew.
“Two crew members were found to have already walked to the Port of St Francis, 7 crew were found walking towards the Port of St Francis and the skipper and two of his crew were found at the scene on the shore,” he added.
Lambinon added that the skipper was treated for hypothermia and for shock.
The remaining 11 crew were treated for minor cuts and bruises and some for mild hypothermia but they did not require to be hospitalised.
South African Maritime Safety Authority are investigating the incident.