SEA RESCUE – Stilbaai and Struis Baai – Wednesday, 25th December, 2013. 2 separate fatal drowning incidents:
At 13h30, Wednesday, 25th December, NSRI Stilbaai volunteer sea rescue duty crew, the SA Police Services and WC Government Health EMS responded to Riverside, STILBAAI, 7km up river from the river mouth, following reports of a drowning in progress.
On arrival on-scene it was found that a group of people from a local farm community had been enjoying a day at the river when an adult male got into difficulty in the water. A 28 year old male, who was part of the same group, had gone into the water to assist the man in difficulty but he is believed to have gotten into difficulty himself before disappearing under water.
An NSRI Stilbaai rescue swimmer went into the water to search and on the 3rd sweep of the area, where the man was believed to have disappeared, the body was located, recovered and brought to shore where paramedics declared him deceased.
His body has been handed into the care of the Forensic Pathology Services, Police have opened an inquest docket and family are being assisted by Police trauma counsellors.
At 15h15, Wednesday, 25th December, NSRI Agulhas volunteer sea rescue duty crew were activated to assist lifeguards that had launched a rescue effort for a teenager being swept out to sea by rip currents at Struis Baai.
NSRI Agulhas launched a sea rescue craft and WC Government Health EMS, the SA Police Services and an Overberg Fire and Rescue Services WOF (Working on Fire) helicopter, accompanied by an NSRI rescue swimmer, responded to assist.
“On arrival on-scene our sea rescue craft and the helicopter joined lifeguards in an extensive air, sea and shoreline search for a 15 year old male that had disappeared under water after being swept out to sea by rip-currents. During the search a body was located under water by the helicopter crew who deployed the NSRI rescue swimmer from the helicopter into the water and the NSRI rescue swimmer recovered the body to the water surface where he was met by the sea rescue craft. The body was loaded onto the sea rescue craft where Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) efforts commenced immediately and rushed to the beach where EMS paramedics and a doctor continued with advanced life support CPR but after all efforts to resuscitate the teenager were exhausted the teenager was declared deceased.
Police have opened an inquest docket.
The teenager was at the beach accompanied by friends. Police are attempting to locate and inform family of the teenager who is from Riviersonderend.
NSRI are urgently appealing to the public to exercise extreme caution around inland and coastal waters and at swimming pools over the festive period.