On Wednesday Evening, 8th January 2020, NSRI Station 6 – Port Elizabeth launched to assist four swimmers who were reportedly caught in a rip current at Wells Estate Beach.
Jonathan Tufts, NSRI Port Elizabeth deputy station commander, said:
At 18h36, Wednesday, 08th January, a call was relayed by the SA Police Services to the NMB (Nelson Mandela Bay) Water Rescue Group reporting a drowning in progress at Wells Estate Beach.
The NMB Beach Office municipal lifeguards, Coastal Water Rescue, the SA Police Services, a Police Dive Unit and Eastern Cape Government Health EMS responded.
NSRI were requested to be on stand-by.
On arrival on the scene bystander CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) efforts were found being conducted on an 18 year old male, who had washed onto the shore and a male teenager, age 17, who had also washed onto the shore, was not injured.
One male, age 20, and one male, age 28, were missing in the surf.
NMB Beach Office lifeguards launched a RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat) to search for the 2 missing males.
Paramedics had continued with CPR efforts on the teenager and despite extensive CPR efforts, after all efforts to resuscitate the teenager were exhausted, sadly he was declared deceased.
NSRI Port Elizabeth duty were activated to respond to assist in a search for the 2 missing men.
NSRI Port Elizabeth dispatched a sea rescue vehicle and the sea rescue craft JLT rescuer was launched.
On NSRI’s arrival on the scene we joined in the search and we assisted in an extensive sea and shoreline search but no sign of the two missing men was been found and Police are tasked to continue in an ongoing search.
Police have opened an inquest docket.
The body of the deceased teenager has been taken into the care of Government Health Forensic Pathology Services.
It appears that the 2 teenagers and the 20 year old man were swimming when they were caught in rip currents. A 28 year old bystander launched into the surf to try to help but he was swept away by rip currents.
NSRI, on behalf of all services involved, convey condolences to the family and friends of the deceased teenager.
TO REPORT A SEA RESCUE EMERGENCY DIAL 112 FROM A CELLPHONE