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On Wednesday, 5 January 2022, just after 18h00 two young men were swept out of the main beach tidal pool in front of the Jongensfontein camping area by a rip current. They were pulled into an extremely dangerous situation where they could not swim back into the tidal pool and risked being washed against the rocks. It was clear that they were rapidly tiring.

A number of people on the beach noticed that the two teenagers were in difficulty and when one of the swimmers waved an arm, indicating that they needed assistance, three sixteen year old friends ran to their tent to get their fins and their body boards to go and help.

The lifeguards had left the beach for the day as their duty was finished, and were not available.

The three youngsters - Louis Fourie, Evert Bouwer and Gerrit de Vos, all sixteen years old, had the forethought to take an extra body board with them as well as a lifeguard’s torpedo buoy and the Pink Rescue Buoy 31-07 which was sponsored by FEM.

They quickly reached the two swimmers who were exhausted. The Pink Rescue Buoy and body board was used to help the two float and regain their strength.

Without the bravery of these three young men, the two swimmers (both approximately 14 years old) may have drowned.

The rescue was well planned and the three rescuers made sure that they had ample flotation for themselves and for the two who were in difficulty. The rapid response with ample emergency flotation saved two lives without risking the lives of the rescuers. This is highly commendable.

The Pink Rescue Buoy, which helped one boy to float means that the Pink Buoys have been used to save 91 lives that we know of at the date of writing.

Image by:Jean-Pierre Pitout.

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