Mike Vonk, NSRI Wilderness duty controller, said:
NSRI Wilderness were called at 11h38, Sunday, 21st January, by a wife whose husband was being pulled out to sea in rip currents at Lientjies Klip beach in Wilderness.
NSRI Wilderness crew had just finished a routine training exercise when the call was received. Rescue Swimmer, Andrew Burrell, and crew member, Lucia Pinto, responded by quad bike from the sea rescue station to the scene – 2km West of the sea rescue station.
2 male members of public had already entered water with a pink rescue floatation buoy to attempt to assist the man.
On arrival on the scene the NSRI rescue swimmer launched into the surf and reached the casualty near the back line and assisted the casualty back to shore.
Rescue swimmer Andrew then swam back out to sea through the surf and assisted the 2 members of public (who had entered water with the pink rescue floatation buoy) to get back to shore.
The NSRI Wilderness duty crew preparing the sea rescue craft Clemen Gold Rescuer were launching when it was confirmed that the casualty swimmers were out water.
WC Government Health EMS and George Fire and Rescue Services responded.
The casualty, a male, 65, from Cape Town was treated for non-fatal drowning symptoms and assessed on the scene by Fire Department medics and then ER24 paramedics. He was taken to hospital by ER24 ambulance in a stable condition for further assessment and treatment. Eden 911 ambulance services also responded
NSRI commend the response from public – multiple call received from eye-witnesses.
Reinard Geldenhuys, NSRI Agulhas station commander, said:
At 17h55, Sunday, 21st January, NSRI Agulhas were alerted to the 6 meter Tygerberg fishing vessel that broke her mooring and drifted out of Struis Baai harbour into surf zone and was heading towards a reef.
We launched the sea rescue craft I&J Rescuer and caught her at the reef and towed her back to the harbour without incident.