Mike Vonk, NSRI Wilderness duty controller, said:
At 15h49, Sunday, 01 April, NSRI Wilderness duty crew were activated following reports of a drowning in progress in the Touw River Lagoon.
SA National Parks rangers, the SA Police Services and WC Government Health EMS were also activated.
Our NSRI rescue swimmers responded to the scene and on arrival it was confirmed that a local man aged in his late 40’s, at a picnic with friends, had entered the water to swim when he got into difficulty.
A friend had entered the water to try to help him but also got into difficulties and the friend was able to get out of the water unassisted and he was not injured but the casualty had at that stage disappeared under water.
2 NSRI rescue swimmers entered the water and immediately started free dive sweeping line search efforts and they were joined by a further 4 NSRI rescue swimmers and all 6 rescue swimmers conducted a coordinated sweeping line search and during the search the man was located and recovered from the water and the NSRI medical crew initiated CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) efforts and sadly after all CPR efforts were exhausted the man was declared deceased by EMS paramedics.
The body of the man has been taken into the care of the Forensic Pathology Services and Police have opened an inquest docket.
Condolences are conveyed to family and friends of the deceased man.
Jeremiah Jackson, NSRI Shelly Beach station commander, said:
At 18h00, Sunday, 01 April, NSRI Shelly Beach duty crew were activated following eye-witness reports of a drowning in progress at Uvongo.
A man was caught in a rip current and he was being swept out to sea.
While preparing to launch a sea rescue craft NSRI alerted Shelly Control to see if any local boats may be in the vicinity.
Shelly Control diverted the commercial fishing boat Must Bite 6 who were in the area at the time and they arrived on the scene and they were able to rescue a 33 year old local man from the water and they brought the man to our sea rescue station at Shelly Beach.
Treatment for non-fatal drowning symptoms was initiated at our sea rescue station.
Hibiscus Med-Evac ambulance services were summoned and they have transported the man to hospital in a stable condition and he is expected to make a full recovery.
Shelly Control and the crew of Must Bite 6 are commended for their efforts.