Yesterday some of our rescue swimmers were trained in underwater breath-holding free diving techniques as well as in-water recovery and resuscitation techniques. This workshop was led by John Mc Carthy, from Ocean Child in Durban, and included five Sea Rescue swimmers from NSRI Mossel Bay and NSRI Wilderness (Torsten Henschell, Andrew Burrell, Jaques de Bruyn, Jonathan Britton and Alf Meintjies), as well as local surfers and swimmers. This training is usually delivered in the context of free-diving, big wave surfing and spear-fishing, and related endeavours. However, our rescue swimmers frequently need to effect rescues in large wave and rip current scenarios, and found this workshop invaluable, building both confidence and competence.
After the end of the formal pool-based workshop, John offered to take the NSRI rescue swimmers (and one of the juniors, Kai) through the Wilderness surf for additional and specific, surf rescue-swimming and large surf training, as well as teaching a valuable additional approach to in-water resuscitation and casualty recovery.
Thank you John. And thank you to Glenwood House School for providing their pool facilities to allow us to host this event. All participants were amazed at the substantial improvements in under-water breath-holding achieved in just a few hours, by unlocking our human potential.
Words: Torsten Henschel (Station 23 Wilderness)