At 15h08 on Tuesday the 23rd of June, NSRI Wilderness duty crew were activated following eye-witness reports of a surfer in difficulty off Leentjiesklip in the Wilderness.
Torsten Henschel, NSRI Wilderness deputy station commander, said:“Sea conditions were 2 to 3 meter swells.
“According to the eye-witness the surfer had lost his surfboard in the surf line and was being swept out to sea in a rip current.
“Our duty crew responded to prepare to launch a sea rescue craft while NSRI rescue swimmers responded directly to the scene.
“George Traffic Services, George Fire and Rescue Services, WC Government Health EMS and ER24 ambulance services were activated and they also responded.
“On arrival on the scene we found a 35 year old American man already on the beach and semi conscious.
“Medical treatment was initiated by NSRI medics and on their arrival on the scene paramedics took over medical care of the 35 year old man, from Pennsylvania, United States of America, who was suffering from near drowning symptoms.
“The man has been transported to hospital by ER24 ambulance in a stable condition and he is expected to fully recover.
“It appears that the man and his wife and a friend, from the USA, all staying at a local back packers, were surfing when the casualty became separated from his surfboard and was then swept out to sea in rip currents.
“The man was able to get back to shore where bystanders, his wife and friend waded in to help him onto the beach where although initially unconscious he began to recover and he was semi conscious when NSRI arrived and following oxygen therapy the man’s health continually strengthened.
“In a stable condition the man continued to be treated by paramedics en route to hospital where he will be monitored by hospital staff for secondary drowning before being released.
“The United States Consulate were alerted to the incident.”
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