Garth Dominy, NSRI Wilderness, said:
At 19h29, Monday, 29th January, NSRI Wilderness duty crew were activated following eye-witness reports of a drowning in progress in the surf in front of Pili Restaurant, Sedgefield.
A mom and her daughter, walking along the beachfront at the time, had seen a man in trouble in the surf and they had run into the Pili Restaurant to raise the alarm.
2 young lifeguards on holiday from the Channel Islands, United Kingdom, at the Pili Restaurant at the time, went to the aid of the swimmer. They launched into the surf and rescued a 29 year old man from Johannesburg who was being swept out to sea by rip currents.
A bystander had taken the NSRI’s Pink Rescue Flotation Buoy to the waters edge but by that stage the two lifeguards, Finlay Whitmore and Ben Ralph, had already rescued the casualty from the surf.
On NSRI’s arrival on the scene the casualty was found on the beach in the care of the 2 British lifeguards. NSRI’s Warren Page and Conrad Potgieter assisted on the scene and medical treatment for non-fatal drowning symptoms commenced.
Ambulance Services and Fire and Rescue Services were activated when a bystander, Ryan Childs, a qualified ambulance medic from Cape Town who is blind, and who had been walking past with family members at the time stopped. Ryan offered to assist and he asked to be shown to the patient.
NSRI crew had fetched the medical jump bag and oxygen from the NSRI Wilderness auxiliary station container in Sedgefield and Ryan, and the 2 NSRI medics, used the medical equipment to treat the patient.
Another bystander, a young lady who confirmed that she has just recently qualified as a medical doctor, Dr. Sheryl Rajpaul, had been eating dinner at Pili Restaurant at the time, also came forward and offered to assist. Between the doctor, Ryan, the 2 NSRI medics and the 2 British lifeguards, the patient was stabilised.
When ambulance services and the Fire and Rescue team arrived the patient was further assessed but by now he was feeling much better. He declined being transported to hospital although he was warned to see a doctor anyway as a precaution for non-fatal drowning.
NSRI commend the 2 lifeguards, Finlay Whitmore and Ben Ralph, the Cape Town ambulance medic Ryan Childs, and Dr. Sheryl Rajpaul for their assistance.
TO REPORT A SEA RESCUE EMERGENCY DIAL 112 FROM A CELLPHONE