An ill fisherman assisted off Cape Point, and heroic efforts by families and bystanders in two separate incidents, at Hermanus and Muizenberg. A man remains missing and is feared to have drowned:
At 14h30, Saturday, 28th December NSRI Simonstown responded a sea rescue craft to rendezvous with the fishing trawler ABRAHAM T.
At the time of calling for medical assistance the ABRAHAM T was 17 nautical miles South of Cape Point and heading towards Simonstown and reporting a crewman onboard collapsed and semi-conscious from unknown medical causes.
A WC Government Health EMS ambulance responded to Buffels Bay and an EMS paramedic was taken to the rendezvous with ABRAHAM T, aboard the sea rescue craft, and the patient, in a stable condition, was brought ashore at Buffels Bay, in the care of the EMS paramedic, and the 50 year old Khayelitsha man has been transported to hospital by EMS ambulance for further medical treatment.
At approximately 13h15 on Sunday, 29th December, NSRI Hermanus responded to in front of the Windsor Hotel, Hermanus, where it was reported people had been swept off rocks by a wave.
WC Government Health EMS, EMR private ambulance service and the SA Police Services also responded.
On arrival on-scene all 5 people, all involved in the incident, were out of the water and they were treated by paramedics for cuts, abrasions, bruising, exhaustion and shock, and they were all transported to hospital by ambulances for further treatment.
The 15 year old young woman was admitted in hospital for observation for secondary drowning symptoms and she is expected to fully recover.
In this incident a father, 42, Lionel Cunningham, his daughter, 15, and son, 11, all from Bothasig, Cape Town, and a nephew, 12, from Johannesburg, were standing on rocks close to the waters edge, in front of the Windsor Hotel, when a large wave washed over the rocks engulfing them.
According to reports the father managed to hang onto a rock and grab hold of his son to prevent his son from being swept off the rock by the waves backwash but the daughter and nephew were swept past him and into the sea by the waves back wash and both were then caught in rip currents and were being swept out to sea.
The father, and bystanders, assisted the son off the rocks and then the father jumped into the sea to attempt to rescue his daughter and his nephew but reports suggest that he was then also caught in the rip current.
A bystander, Savvas Nel, from Potchefstroom, who had witnessed the incident happen, then ran down to the shores edge and he jumped into the sea to assist and it appears that he was responsible for rescuing all three out of the water and he also sustained injuries of exhaustion, cuts, bruising and abrasions, from rocks, in the process.
Details of the rescue itself are not clear and Savvas admits that exhaustion has hampered his recollection of how he assisted the three.
It appears that other bystanders also assisted to pull the casualties out of the water as Savvas brought them to the rocks (it appears in relays).
Savvas is commended for his effort in rescuing the three from the surf.
Sunrise Beach, Muizenberg:
At 17h30, Sunday, 29th December, 3 people, an 18 year old young man from Cafda Village, a 15 year old young woman, from Lentegeur, and a 25 year old woman from Westridge, were swept out to sea by rip currents while wading in the surf.
The 25 year old woman, from Westridge, Cape Town, her 15 year old niece, from Lentegeur, Cape Town, and an 18 year old young man, from Cafda Village, Cape Town, were all caught in a rip current and were being swept out to sea.
The husband of the 25 year old, Zakir Deidericks, who cannot swim, rescued his 15 year old niece from the water. An unidentified bystander rescued his wife, Majida Makclaski, while another unidentified bystander ran to call lifeguards at the Sunrise Beach lifeguard tower.
Lifeguards launched their rescue rubber duck and they initiated a search for the 18 year old young man who had disappeared under water.
NSRI Strandfontein, the WC Government Health EMS, the Skymed rescue helicopter, Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services, the Law Enforcement Marine Unit and the SA Police Services responded to join the lifeguards who were searching for the 18 year old male in the surf.
Despite an extensive sea, air and shore search, by last light, no sign of of the missing 18 year old has been found.
A Police dive unit have taken over the ongoing search operation.
Police have opened an investigation into the incident.
Paramedics assessed the two women but they did not require to be transported to hospital.
The family involved in this incident expressed grief for the missing 18 year old male, whom they did not know, but who had been caught in the same rip current, at the same time, before disappearing under water.