Correction: The casualty, a 50 year old German man, was with his wife and two friends. Not with his children as incorrectly reported.
At 14h30, Tuesday, 09 February, NSRI Knysna duty crew were activated following eye-witness reports of a man in difficulty in the surf and caught in rip-currents on the Wild Side at Buffalo Bay, between Knysna and Sedgefield, Southern Cape, South Africa.
NSRI Knysna dispatched a sea rescue vehicle carrying NSRI rescue swimmers and additional NSRI rescue swimmers responded in their private vehicles and WC Government Health EMS, Cape Nature Conservation officers and Sedgefield Fire and Rescue Services responded.
On arrival on the scene NSRI rescue swimmers waded into the surf to assist a surfer who had paddled out through the surf to rescue a 50 year old German man and the surfer had managed to get the man to the beach. It is believed that the casualty had been in the water struggling against rip currents for at least 40 minutes before the surfer reached him.
Once on the beach the man was found to be unconscious and suffering signs and symptoms of a non fatal drowning. NSRI medics initiated emergency medical treatment which was continued by EMS paramedics on their arrival and the man was transported to a hospital in Knysna by EMS ambulance in a critical condition. Hospital staff continued with medical treatment and the man remained in an intensive care unit through the night but hospital staff have reported an improvement in the mans condition today (Wednesday). It appears that the casualty had been at the beach with his wife and two children, they are on holiday from Blaufelden, Germany, when the man was caught in rip currents.
A surfer, Jean Bezuidenhout, had noticed the man in difficulty and he had paddled his surf board through the surf and on reaching the man successfully rescuing the man. Jean Bezuidenhout is commended for his actions in saving the life of the casualty.
The German Consulate and Southern Cape Tourism officials are notified.
TO REPORT A SEA RESCUE EMERGENCY DIAL 112 FROM A CELLPHONE