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Good Samaritans and an NSRI station commander, armed with an NSRI pink rescue buoy and a body board, are commended for contributing to saving a child's life

Rocky Bay – Wednesday, 28 April. 2 .

An NSRI pink rescue buoy has again contributed to saving the life of a swimmer in distress. On Tuesday, 27 April, at 12h15, reports were received by NSRI Rocky Bay duty controllers of a male child being swept out to sea at Rocky Bay. NSRI Rocky Bay station commander, Kevin Fourie, was at Rocky Bay Beach at the time and he scanned the ocean front but could see no apparent distress amongst any of the bathers. Kevin alerted the Umdoni Municipal lifeguards, who were on duty at Main Beach, and they also scanned the ocean front but could see no one in any distress. Reports were then received from the Rocky Bay caravan park that the incident was in fact happening in front of the caravan park at that beach which is not protected by lifeguards.

Kevin, the Rocky Bay Umdoni Municipal lifeguards and the Scottburgh Umdoni Municipal lifeguards, who used their rescue rigid hull inflatable boat, responded speedily to that beach. On arrival on the scene it was found that 2 Good Samaritans, locals Richard Gibson and Nick Bell, and NSRI Durban station commander Jonathan Kellerman, had together, with an NSRI pink rescue buoy and a body board, contributed to saving the life of a local male child, about 12 years old, who had been swept out to sea by rip currents while swimming. The child was medically assessed and he was not injured and he was released into the care of his family. Richard told NSRI that had instinctively reacted to the child being swept out to sea and he launched into the water and swam out towards the child. He had asked his son to alert his friend Nick.

About half way to reaching the casualty child, who was by that stage about 100 meters out to sea, Richard considered that he should maybe have taken something which floats with him but he continued. Jonathan happened to be at the same beach with his family on a holiday. He noticed the commotion and he grabbed NSRI pink rescue buoy 2, which is stationed in front of the Rocky Bay caravan park and he swam out to assist. Jonathan was closely followed by Nick, who was armed with a body board (to aid in floatation).By that stage Richard had reached the child and he was joined by Jonathan and by Nick. Together they used the NSRI pink rescue buoy and the body board to aid in their floatation and in a combined effort they brought the child safely to the beach.

NSRI commend the 2 Good Samaritans, Richard Gibson and Nick Bell, and we commend our NSRI Durban station commander, Jonathan Kellerman, for their combined efforts that saved the life of the child. NSRI pink rescue buoys are stationed around the country at beaches that are mostly unprotected by lifeguards. NSRI advise anyone who sees a person in difficulty to throw the pink rescue buoy to the casualty and alert the sea rescue emergency numbers that are displayed on the pink rescue buoy boards.

These pink rescue buoys are exclusive to NSRI and we appeal to anyone finding a pink rescue buoy, that is not on its board on their pole on the beach, to alert NSRI at 0214344011 or return the pink rescue buoy to any Police station or surf shop. NSRI pink rescue buoys have been responsible for 75 successful lives saved around the South African coastline (that we are aware of) since their commissioning in 2017.

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