This evening Bakoven Station commander Mark Thompson presented an award on behalf of NSRI Chief Executive, Ian Wienburg, to Christoph Müller for his rescue in Camps Bay of Marks Mhlafu in November.
This is the citation:
I am writing on behalf of the National Sea Rescue Institute of South Africa to thank you for what you did on the evening of 16th November 2010 when you went to the assistance of Marks Mhlafu on Camps Bay beach.
That afternoon Marks and two fellow students from the University of Cape Town were walking on the beach when they decided to wade in the shallows. What they did not realise was that at the northern end where they were there is usually a rip current. Moreover the vicious 40 knot South Easterly wind that had blown all day had increased the strength of the rip.
Hardly had the three young men entered the water when they were swept off their feet. Hearing their cries you immediately went to their aid and managed to grab hold of Marks who was lying face down in the water. Despite the pull of the current and being pushed onto barnacle-encrusted boulders which tore at your body and bruised you severely you hauled the now unconscious Marks Mhlafu into a gully among the rocks. There you began to try to revive him, ignoring the sprays of whirling sand whipped up by the gale and hurled across the beach and amongst the rock outcrop.
Fortunately emergency services personnel who had been alerted arrived on the scene very quickly and took over the task of stabilising Marks, who was exhibiting near drowning symptoms. It required over two hours to rig a complicated rope and pully system to get the casualty on a stretcher out of the deep gully and into an ambulance to take him to hospital, where he has made a full recovery.
Thank you for what you did. Another life saved. We salute you.