Marc de Vos, NSRI Table Bay station commander, said:
At 16h04, Saturday, 31st August, NSRI Table Bay duty crew were activated following reports from a local mom at the scene of her teenage children appearing to be in difficulty while surfing at Granger Bay, Cape Town.
We prepared to launch our Sea Rescue craft and NSRI rescue swimmers responded directly to the scene where we found a teenage male surfer had assisted his younger teenage sister safely to shore after she got into difficulty while they were surfing together and they were fine requiring no further assistance and all responding resources were stood down, no longer required.
Mike Vonk, NSRI Wilderness deputy station commander, said:
At 14h48, Sunday, 01 September, NSRI Wilderness duty crew were activated following reports of at least 3 persons reported to be in difficulty in the surf at Herolds Bay near to George.
NSRI rescue swimmers responded directly to the scene and our sea rescue craft was towed to the scene using our sea rescue vehicle. The EMS/AMS Skymed rescue helicopter, a WC Government Health EMS paramedic, Eden 911 ambulance services and George Fire and Rescue Services were activated.
On arrival on the scene all 3 teenagers were safely ashore.
As a precaution they have been transported to hospital by Eden 911 ambulance for observation for non-fatal drowning symptoms and they are due to make full recoveries.
NSRI learned that Dewald Gerber, 14, a local learner, was swimming with his friend when they noticed a teenager, from Kuruman in the Northern Cape, reportedly on a school trip, who was also swimming there had been caught in a rip current and was being swept out to sea.
Dewald had gone to the assistance of the Kuruman teenager but he then noticed that his own friend, a male teenage learner, was also in difficulty so he stopped to help his friend when a person appeared with a Pink Rescue Buoy to assist them and they were safely brought to the beach.
Cliff Coombe, from George, a former Strand and Fish Hoek Surf Life Saving lifeguard, was walking on the beach with his wife Tracy Whitelaw Coombe when they noticed 3 male teenagers in difficulty caught in rip currents while swimming.
Cliff grabbed the NSRI Pink Rescue Buoy that is posted at Herolds Bay Beach and while his wife used the information on the Pink Rescue Buoy Board to raise the alarm Cliff swam after the teenagers and he reached the 2 local teenagers (Dewald and his friend) and was able to get them safely to shore using the Pink Buoy. Dewald, who is a strong swimmer, was able to assist.
A local Body Boarder who had noticed the event unfolding, had suited up into his wet suit and using his body board he reached the remaining teenager, from Kuruman, who was further out to sea, and rescued him safely to shore.
NSRI commend Dewald Gerber, Cliff Coombe and the body boarder, Sydney Erasmus.
Sea Rescue’s Pink Rescue buoy project, aimed at stopping failed bystander rescue attempts, was started in November 2017. To date there are more than 450 Pink Rescue Buoys at drowning hot spots and they have been used to successfully help 45 people who were in danger of drowning.
The NSRI’s Pink Rescue Buoys won the 2018 IMRF (International Maritime Rescue Federation) award for Innovation and Technology, which was presented at a prestigious gala dinner in Norway on 08th November 2018.
NSRI’s Pink Rescue Buoy is also part of an emergency floatation equipment trial in Sydney Australia. Surf Life Saving New South Wales is busy with a trial of Rescue Floatation Equipment (RFE) designed to assist a member of the public in the event that they attempt to rescue someone from the water.
The project aims to test a variety of floatation devices from around the world, including the NSRI’s Pink Rescue Buoy, for suitability for use on Australian Beaches. This trial will form part of their research into the perceptions, motivations and mechanisms of bystander rescues.
“The Hawaii rotary clubs have a similar programme in which they have recorded over 150 successful peer rescues,” says NSRI’s Drowning Prevention manager Andrew Ingram.
“We are absolutely thrilled that the Pink Rescue Buoy has helped to save 45 lives,” said Ingram.
“ With the support that we are getting from most South African municipalities, who give permission to put the sponsored public rescue equipment on their beaches, we can help to educate people and prevent many more drownings,” he said.
A Pink Rescue Buoy and the sign that it hangs on costs R1500 and needs municipal permission to be put up at public waters. If you would like to sponsor this project please email email@example.com for more details.
Luke van Riet, NSRI Bakoven station commander, said:
At 16h22, Sunday, 01 September, NSRI Bakoven duty crew were activated following reports of a male and a female trapped on rocks at Camps Bay Beach cut off from mainland by the rising high tide.
NSRI rescue swimmers responded to the scene and additional emergency services resources were placed on alert.
In relays one after the other both persons, the couple from Ceres, secured into life-jackets, and using a rope system we set up through the surf, they were assisted through the surf by our NSRI rescue swimmers from the rocks to mainland without incident and once safely on mainland they required no further assistance.
TO REPORT A SEA RESCUE EMERGENCY DIAL 112 FROM A CELLPHONE