At 10h49, Monday, 21 August, NSRI St Lucia duty crew were activated following eye-witness reports of a drowning in progress at Main Beach, St Lucia.
Reports suggested that 3 people were caught in rip currents and being swept out to sea.
NSRI rescue swimmers responded directly to the scene while our duty crew responded to our base and our rescue craft JetRib was towed to the scene.
A former NSRI rescue swimmer, local charter boat skipper Izan Liebrand, nearby at the time, volunteered to assist and he also responded.
On arrival on the scene, Izan discovered one person, a female aged 40, had been rescued from the surf by an unidentified public member who had used one of the NSRI Pink Rescue Buoys stationed at the beach to aid in the successful rescue. She appeared to not be injured.
Her sister and her father were still in the water and a public member was using a second NSRI Pink Rescue Buoy, stationed at the same beach, to point towards where the 2 casualties were. They were both beyond the back-breaking waves.
Izan took the pink rescue buoy from the public member and launched into the surf where he reached the 2 casualties, the dad aged 74 and his daughter aged 42.
The pink rescue buoy was used to aid them to stay afloat, particularly for the dad who was struggling to stay afloat.
NSRI rescue swimmers and our rescue craft JetRib arrived on the scene and our rescue craft was launched through surf and on reaching all 3 of them they were successfully taken onboard our rescue craft and brought safely to shore.
Netcare 911 ambulance services had been alerted and they were responding.
The 2 sisters were not injured but the dad appeared to have symptoms of non-fatal drowning. In the care of our NSRI medics they were transported to our NSRI St Lucia rescue station where medical treatment was continued for the dad.
He was taken into the care of Netcare 911 paramedics and transported to hospital in a Netcare 911 ambulance, in a stable condition. He has been released from hospital following a full recovery.
The family are on a holiday from Benoni.
Izan has been commended for his swift reaction in assisting in saving the lives of the dad and one his daughters.
The unidentified public member is commended for his efforts in saving the life of the one daughter, but he had left the scene before we could get his details and commend him. We would like him to come forward by calling NSRI Communications on 0823803800.
The swift reaction by all involved, including our St Lucia public members who raised the alarm, and bystander Dirk Spies who made the first call to NSRI, they are commended.
The number of people that NSRI know of who have been rescued with the help of an NSRI Pink Rescue Buoy is 155 people. All in water rescues have been successful and no harm has come to any of the rescuers who have used a Pink Buoy to help someone in danger of drowning.
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