Schalk Boonzaaier, NSRI Kleinmond station commander, said:
At around 15h00 on Friday afternoon, 24 July, NSRI Kleinmond trainee crewman Riaan Smit and his wife were on Kleinmond beach where they observed 3 local male children enter the water to go for a swim.
One of the children appeared to get himself caught up in a rip current and he was swept towards a rock, known as The Mannetjie, off-shore.
Riaan continued to watch the child who had climbed onto the rock and he appeared to be okay but the child then jumped into the water to try to swim to shore and he again got caught by a rip current and he appeared to be in difficulty.
The 2 friends, seeing him in trouble, appeared to run away and we believe that they had run home to raise the alarm.
Riaan entered the water to go to the child’s assistance while his wife contacted our NSRI emergency phone to raise the alarm.
Riaan reached the child in the surf and found the child to be caught in a rip current and the child was panicking.
After calming the child down and assisting the child to float in the water Riaan showed the child how they were caught in the rip current and he showed the child how to swim free of the rip current and Riaan then assisted the child to get to the beach safely.
Once the child was safely ashore no further assistance was required and the child was not injured.
Our NSRI Kleinmond duty crew were stood down.
Riaan then took some time to educate the child about rip currents and he showed the child how to observe rip currents in the water and how to avoid and how to escape rip currents.
NSRI commend our NSRI Kleinmond trainee crewman, Riaan Smit, for the swift action he took to assist the child and for preventing a potential drowning accident.