UCT students were rescued by alert bystanders in Camps Bay.
Three University of Cape Town students, Marks Mhlafu, 19 of Butterfield, Bright Mahlangu, 21, of Mpumalanga and Stephen Mokhua, 19, of Bloemfontein, were swept out to sea at Camps Bay Beach.
They were caught in a rip, well known to locals, that heads out to sea for a hundred metres or so before swinging across to Glen beach. The South Easter was gusting up to 40 knots making conditions extreme.
Christoph Mueller, from Heidelberg in Germany, currently studying at UWC, heard shouts for help and seeing the three in trouble, he jumped into the water to help. Christoph managed to reach Marks Mhlafu and pulled him out of the water onto the Glen beach rocks sustaining bruises and cuts from the rocks while doing so.
A surfer and another local came to the assistance of the other two men and Bright Mahlangu was helped out of the water while Stephen Mokhua managed to get out of the water on his own.
Marks Mhlafu was short of breath and unconscious, showing signs of near drowning. On arrival paramedics stabilised the patient. And because he was in a difficult position to access, Metro and Cape Town Fire and Rescue technicians set up a rope and pulley system to bring the patient safely out of the gulley.
He was secured into stretcher and brought out of the gully where he was loaded into an ER-24 ambulance and transported to hospital in a stable condition for further assessment and treatment.
His friends were not injured.
The cooperation between all of the emergency services involved in this rescue, working together under trying conditions, with sea sand being blasted at them in extremely strong gusting winds, was excellent.
But it is the bravery of Christoph Mueller that stands out and Sea Rescue commends him for his brave and selfless action.