Jean le Roux, NSRI Hermanus duty coxswain, said:
“At 11h00 (Thursday, 25th October) NSRI Hermanus volunteer sea rescue duty crew were activated following a request for assistance from the Department of Environment – Oceans and Coasts (DoE – Oceans and Coasts) reporting that they were heading towards Hermanus harbour from Breakfast Bay, South West of Hermanus, with a drowning victim who showed no signs of life.
“It appears that two Department of Environment – Oceans and Coasts officers on jet-ski’s had happened upon the man who was free diving off-shore of Breakfast Bay (Between Hermanus and Kleinmond) and allegedly attempts to get the man to shore were met with resistance and the man appears to have succumbed to drowning. The DoE members rescued the man from the water loading the lifeless body of the man onto one of the jet-ski’s in choppy, rough sea conditions and called NSRI for rescue assistance.
“Our NSRI volunteer sea rescue duty crew launched our sea rescue craft Hunters Gold Rescuer and responded and the WC Government Health Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and EMR private ambulance services responded to our Hermanus Sea Rescue base to stand-by.
“On arrival on-scene the man was transferred onto our sea rescue craft and brought to Hermanus harbour where paramedics conducted extensive Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) efforts and a heart rhythm has been restored and the man has been transported to hospital by EMS ambulance in a critical condition where despite efforts by doctors to save him he was later declared dead.
“NSRI do not have the age of the victim, an adult male, nor do we know where he is from but he is suspected to be a local man.”