Our NSRI East London duty crew, and Dynamic ambulance services responded to Lietjies Bay following reports of a female that had been washed off the rocks by a wave.
Geoff McGregor, NSRI East London Operations Manager, said:
The local lady had managed to get back onto the rocks where 2 NSRI rescue swimmers assisted her and guided her off the rocks.
Suffering non-fatal drowning symptoms and bruises she was transported to hospital in a stable condition by Dynamic ambulance,
Then at 17h15 eye-witnesses reported 4 people in distress at Nahoon Beach.
We launched the sea rescue craft Spirit of DHL and Priority Care ambulance services and Alderson ambulance services responded.
It appears that 2 local females and 2 local men had been swept out to sea in rip currents.
A local surfer, Zander Hampson, 30, who was surfing nearby, heard their shouts for help and he had reached them behind the breakers finding one female to be unresponsive and floating face down in the water.
Zander, a safety officer and a former lifeguard and ambulance medic, used his lifesaving training to place his surfboard under the unresponsive female and roll her over so that she was now lying on his upright surfboard.
With the unresponsive female on his surfboard, and one male and one female casualty hanging onto his board, he initiated cardiac compressions using his elbow on the unresponsive females chest.
Zander’s friend, Charne Hirst, 28, who was swimming nearby, went to the aid of the remaining casualty, a man. He was on a body board and Charne, using his body board for floatation, rescued that man to the shore and raised the alarm alerting NSRI to the emergency.
On knowing that NSRI were responding, Charne, a local Architect, launched back into the water with that man's body board and reached Zander and the 3 casualties.
Zander has told NSRI that by this stage he was exhausted and he placed the body board under his surfboard to create a better platform for the unresponsive female to aid in the chest compressions.
He then instructed Charne to take over cardiac compressions, guiding her on the technique, on the unresponsive female and between them and the other male and the other female casualty they used the surfboard holding onto it for floatation.
They were gradually drifting further out to sea.
The sea rescue craft reached them and all were rescued onto the sea rescue craft. The unresponsive female was now lapsing in and out of consciousness and expelling water out of her mouth.
They were brought to shore where paramedics took over care of the casualties.
The 2 females and 1 man were transported to hospital by ambulance in the care of paramedics with the one female in a critical condition and the remaining male and the female in stable conditions.
The man that Charne had initially rescued to shore was not injured.
NSRI has learned that the one female remains in a serious condition in hospital and all hopes are that she makes a full recovery.
NSRI commend Good Samaritans Zander and Charne for their efforts displayed that saved the lives of the 4 casualties.
Incidents around the coastRead More
As the busiest time of year for SA beaches draws to a close, lifeguard operations manager Stewart Seini reflects on a season well executed by NSRI lifeguards. ...
The NSRI continues to go from strength to strength – and 2022 was no exception. NSRI Director of Rescue Services Brett Ayres shares a few highlights. ...