The search for an unidentified object that apparently crashed into the sea at Port Shepstone on Saturday will resume at the weekend as there were no bodies to search for, the National Sea Rescue Institute said on Tuesday.

"It is unlikely that we will go out to search before the weekend. The NSRI's core business is rescuing people and here there is no loss of life involved," said NSRI Shelley Beach Station Commander Eddie Noyons.

The search for the unidentified object began on Saturday after witnesses reported that an object, possibly an aircraft, had crashed 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.

"Following a full-scale search of the area covering 12 square nautical miles nothing had been found.

"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," said Noyons.

He said numerous witnesses -- including teachers and pupils attending a sports event at the high school, and other bystanders including local fishermen -- were convinced they had seen an aircraft go into the water, including seeing smoke and a water plume.

Interviews with the witnesses revealed that some also reported seeing flames.

"Some reported seeing something, an unidentified object, splash into the sea causing a ripple effect of waves," Noyons said.

Due to the number of witnesses with similar reports, it was presumed that weather activity might have given the impression of something falling into the sea.

Noyons said rescue workers were unable to find oil slicks, petrol spillage or any signs or wreckage during the search on Saturday.

"We are not sure what it was as we are still unaware of any missing aircraft, but will continue the search at the weekend. It's probably a small meteorite or something. The weekend will be a nice time for diving," said Noyons. - Sapa