The freed humpback whale in St Francis Bay. Picture: nsri.org.za

CAPE TOWN – The NSRI said that they were alerted by the Transnet National Ports Authority of a drowning in progress in the surf below Crystal Pools between Gordon’s Bay and Koegel Bay.
At least two people drowned during Boxing day activities in the Western Cape on Tuesday, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) said.

The NSRI said in a statement they were alerted by the Transnet National Ports Authority of a drowning in progress in the surf below Crystal Pools between Gordon’s Bay and Koegel Bay.

The Institute responded with its sea rescue craft, Jack and Irene. Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services’ rescue divers, the provincial government’s emergency medical services and provincial traffic police were already on the scene after being flagged down by bystanders reporting a father and son were in the surf experiencing difficulty.

“It appears that the 34 year old male, from Athlone, and his 10 year old son were fishing from rocks when the child was swept into the surf by waves and his dad jumped in to help but both got into difficulty,” the statement said.

“On the NSRI sea rescue craft arriving on the scene the child was rescued from the surf and during a search, 7 minutes later the dad was spotted and he was rescued onto the sea rescue craft where NSRI medics initiated CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) on the dad while the sea rescue craft raced to the NSRI base in Gordons Bay where they were met by paramedics.”

Despite the CPR efforts the 34-year-old man was declared dead on the scene.

The family have been provided with counselling.

In another incident, the NSRI were alerted to report of CPR being performed on a 63 year old at an education camp in Soetwater, near Kommetjie. The man had been diving and was later recovered from the water afte he was found “floating unresponsive in the water”.

“Bystanders had initiated CPR and CMR dispatched an ambulance and response paramedics and activated NSRI Kommetjie,” the statement said.

“CMR [Cape Medical Response] paramedics assisted by NSRI medics conducted extensive CPR efforts but sadly despite extensive CPR efforts and after all efforts to resuscitate the 63 year old man, from Athlone, were exhausted on the scene the man has been declared deceased.”

Police have opened an inquest docket.

Just after lunctime on Tuesday, NSRI Melkbosstrand were alerted that a Frenman from Paris, 38, had hired and launched a windsurfter and did not return by 14h00.

After launching craft, lifeguards along the coast at Milnerton Life Saving Club (LSC), Blouberg LSC and Silverstroom LSC were told to keep a lookout for the man and the windsurfer.

“During an extensive search NSRI were contacted by Robben Island Security who reported that a windsurfer had come ashore at Robben Island at 16h30.”

The NSRI Table Bay sea rescue craft were dispatched to Robben Island and the Skymed rescue helicopter also responded to the Island and on arrival it was confirmed that it was the Frenchman,” the NSRI statement said.

The man, an experienced windsurfer, had been unable to get the sail up after the wind dropped during his voyage.

“….finding himself closer to Robben Island than to Mainland he paddled to Robben Island and sought help,” the NSRI said.

He was airlifted to Mainland by Skymed to the NSRI base in Melkbosstrand where he was reunited with his family and not injured, he required no further assistance.”

The NSRI also had to deploy Colorpress Rescue and Spirit of St Francis after reports emerged of three crew on board a boat at Morris Point in Witsand in the Breed River Valley were in difficulty.

“On arrival on the scene the hellcat Geronimo was found smashed on rocks and the 3 crew were safe on the rocks but one male suffered lacerations to his leg. They were brought to Still Bay aboard the sea rescue craft and the injured man was taken to a local doctor for treatment.”

African News Agency AND The Citizen

PHOTO: The freed humpback whale in St Francis Bay. Picture: nsri.org.za


Please swim safely,  cautiously and stay alive!


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