Schalk Boonzaaier, NSRI kleinmond Station Commander, said:
At 12h24, Sunday, 01 December, NSRI Kleinmond duty crew were activated following reports of an adult male free diver missing in the sea at Betty’s Bay.
2 Friends had been free diving for crayfish together when the one man got out of the water, waited for his friend, and then raised the alarm when he failed to return.
NSRI Kleinmond dispatched a sea rescue vehicle and launched a sea rescue craft. Overberg Fire and Rescue Services, WC Government Health EMS, SA Police Services and the EMS/AMS Skymed rescue helicopter, accompanied by a WP Surf Lifesaving lifeguard also responded.
During an extensive search a person was located by the rescue helicopter drifting below the water surface in the Bay.
A lifeguard was deployed from the Skymed helicopter, an NSRI rescue swimmer was deployed from the beach and an NSRI rescue swimmer was deployed from the sea rescue craft. They secured the male and brought him to shore where paramedics attended to him. The 43 year old from Bloubergstrand, was sadly declared deceased.
Police have opened an inquest docket.
His body has been taken into the care of the Forensic Pathology Services.
NSRI, Police and emergency services convey condolences to family and friends of the deceased man.
TO REPORT A SEA RESCUE EMERGENCY DIAL 112 FROM A CELLPHONE