Torsten Henschel, NSRI Wilderness duty coxswain, said: “On Friday, 22nd March, at 15h58, NSRI Wilderness volunteer rescue crew were activated following reports of a person suspected to have gone missing in the surf behind the breaker line on Wilderness Beach opposite The Dunes. We launched our sea rescue craft SERENDIPITY and our DISCOVERY Quad Bike responded.
“On arrival on-scene we found a man walking along the beach and he confirmed that earlier he had been swimming beyond the breaker line. He had then swum out further down the beach and it appears that the eye-witness had lost sight of the swimmer in the breakers while he was making his way to shore.
“This was a case of a false alarm with very good intentions. The eye-witness was correct to raise the alarm, and we commend her responsible approach to the situation.”
“Then, at 17h51, our crew responded to Wilderness Beach, in the vicinity of Views Hotel, following reports of a paragliding accident.
“The SA Police Services, WC Government Health EMS and ER24 ambulance services were also activated.
“We found a tandem paraglider, carrying an adult male paragliding pilot and his 14 year old male tandem passenger, both from Gordons Bay in Cape Town, had crash landed on the beach.
“The 14 year old was not injured but the adult male was suffering lower back pain and full C-Spinal immobilization was applied by paramedics.
“The man was loaded, securely fastened to a trauma board, onto a Metro EMS rescue quad bike and transported over the beach to an ambulance on the roadway and then taken by ambulance to hospital in a serious but stable condition.
“It has been determined by hospital staff that he has suffered a spinal fracture and he is due to be transferred to hospital in Cape Town for further treatment.”