KNYSNA Thursday 16th February 2012.
At 13h33 Knysna volunteers were called out following reports of a paraglider crashed into the sea at Castle Rock near Brenton-On-Sea.
Initially eye-witnesses reported the incident as a drowning in progress reporting both the paraglider and his wife, who had gone into the water from the beach to try to rescue her husband, in difficulties in the surf.
Our duty crew in a sea rescue vehicle responded and we requested any of our sea rescue swimmers who were able to respond directly to the scene in their private vehicles to respond.
On arrival we found the paraglider and his wife safely on the shore after both had been being rescued from the surf by an unidentified bystander who had been on the shore at the time.
Other paragliders, from the same group, had then landed on the shore and were in the process of recovering the paraglider canopy from the surf when we arrived.
Both Wynand Coertzen, 54, and his wife Nicola, 55, from Wilderness, were treated for multiple abrasions, lacerations and bruising by our NSRI medics and a WC Government Health: EMS ambulance was summoned to the scene. Paramedics assisted in treating their wounds but both declined transport by ambulance to hospital and have opted to visit their own doctor.
The unidentified bystander who rescued the couple left the scene before any details could be obtained.
It appears that a group of paragliders had departed from the top of a hill above Brenton-On-Sea and the casualty appears to have made a forced landing and had, by our observations of the scene, chosen to land in the sea rather than possibly risking serious injury by landing on Castle Rock.
Eye-witnesses claim he had appeared to be in grave danger in the surf, and caught up in his paragliders ropes and canopy, when his wife went into the surf to try to rescue him but then got into difficulty herself. The unidentified bystander then intervened.