Brendon Power, NSRI Ballito duty coxswain, said:
At 09h25, Sunday, 19th May, NSRI Ballito were activated following reports of a drowning in progress North of Breakers Hotel Umhlanga.
NSRI Ballito and an NSRI Ballito sea rescue craft, Rescue 41 Alpha, eThekweni Lifeguards, SA Police Services Search & Rescue, eThekweni Metro Search & Rescue, Netcare 911 ambulance services, Umhlanga UIP and the SA Police Services Durban North responded.
On arrival on the scene a search commenced for a 35 year old Congolese man, living in Johannesburg and on holiday in Durban, reportedly swept out to sea in rip currents and missing in the surf.
Two members of the public had earlier gone into the water to try to assist the man but were unfortunately unsuccessful and they are commended for their efforts.
eThekwini lifeguards conducted free dive search efforts and were joined by Police Search and Rescue divers, Metro eThekwini Search and Rescue divers and NSRI rescue swimmers, and a search included a lifeguard Jet-ski and our NSRI sea rescue craft conducting a search in amongst the breakers and shoreline patrols were conducted.
A Police trauma counsellor from the SA Police Services Durban North was on scene comforting the partner of the missing.
After approximately 3.5 hours of extensive searching the sea search was suspended due to deteriorating sea conditions and will resume when conditions improve. Shoreline searches continue in an ongoing search operation and Police have taken over on the scene and have opened an investigation into the incident.
Our thoughts are with family and friends of the missing man in this difficult time.
Ian Gray, NSRI Port Elizabeth station commander, said:
At 07h48, Sunday, 19th May, NSRI Port Elizabeth were activated following a request for medical assistance from a fishing trawler heading towards Port Elizabeth North East of the Port of Port Elizabeth.
NSRI arranged our duty doctor to evaluate the patients condition and confirming a patient evacuation to be urgent and suspecting the patient to be suffering a heart attack the sea rescue craft JLK rescuer, on the water at the time conducting routing exercises, and with an NSRI crewman who is a student paramedic onboard, diverted immediately to rendezvous with the fishing trawler.
EC government Health EMS were activated and an EMS advanced life support rescue paramedic, in the air in an EMS helicopter at the time, diverted to land at our sea rescue base and the EMS rescue paramedic boarded our sea rescue craft Spirit of Toft which responded towards the scene.
At that stage the patient, in the care of our paramedic, had been stabilised and transferred onto our sea rescue craft JLK rescuer and were met en route to Port by Spirit of Toft where the EMS rescue paramedic was transferred onto JLK Rescuer and assisted with medical treatment.
An EMS ambulance was summoned to our sea rescue base and on the arrival of our sea rescue craft the patient was transported to hospital by EMS ambulance in a serious but stable condition.