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At 11h03, Friday, 18 February, NSRI Plettenberg Bay duty crew were activated following reports a drowning in progress on the Wild Side of Robberg Nature Reserve.

Jaco Kruger, NSRI Plettenberg Bay station commander, said:

Eye-witnesses reported 2 people being swept out to sea.

The NSRI Plettenberg Bay siren was sounded and our duty crew responded to our NSRI base where three sea rescue craft, Ray Farnham Rescuer, Eric Stratford and Leonard Smith, were launched while NSRI rescue swimmers, in their private vehicles, responded directly to the Robberg Nature Reserve parking area and ran along the hiking trail to reach the scene.

An NSRI rescue swimmer reached The Island and confirmed that it was a couple being swept out to sea.

They had already been swept about 100 meters across the beach and they were by that stage behind the backline and still in grave danger caught in rip currents.

The rescue swimmer grabbed the NSRI pink rescue buoy, that is stationed on-duty on the pink rescue buoy pole at that beach, and he launched into the surf to go after the couple.

The rescue craft Ray Farnham Rescuer arrived on the scene and reached the couple rescuing both of them out of the water onto our sea rescue craft.

They were brought safely onto the beach and the remaining 2 sea rescue craft arrived while the rescue swimmer swam back to the shore.

The couple, a husband and wife, from Germany, both aged 63, were medically assessed by NSRI medics.

A doctor, who happened to be on the beach at the time, assisted our NSRI medics.

Both casualties were in satisfactory conditions and grateful for being rescued. They were accompanied back to the car park and they required no further assistance.

The eye-witnesses who raised the alarm and the swift response that contributed to saving the couples lives is commended.

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