WILDERNESS Saturday 25th February 2012. American rescued from rip-current:
At 16h15 on Saturday 25th February during a fund raising volleyball event at Wilderness Beach, an hour after sea rescue volunteers had thrilled the large crowd with a sea rescue demonstration in the surf and during the final match of the competition, it was noticed that two men were getting into difficulty in a rip-current that had formed where they were swimming.
NSRI rescuers saw that both men were in danger and turned their attention to launching a rescue.
NSRI sea rescue swimmer Torsten Henschel swam after the two men while the duty crew launched our sea rescue craft Die Swart Tobie and responded.
One of the men managed to get safely to shore and Torsten reached the second man, Gerald Akakios, 48, from Las Vegas, USA, about 50 to 100 meters out to sea. He was struggling to keep his head above water and Torsten secured him using a floatation rescue device.
Our sea rescue boat reached them shortly thereafter and Gerald was whisked out of the surf and brought ashore where he was checked out by our medics.
The Volleyball match had come to a grinding halt during the rescue operation but resumed after it was confirmed that the casualty was safe.
The two men were not together but just happened to be swimming in the same vicinity when the rip-current formed and began to drag them both out to sea at the same time.
Pictures by Bianca Rautenbach, Wilderness NSRI Volunteer.
High Resolution images are available for media download from Sea Rescue’s Flickr page.