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Tuesday 19 September at 15h00, after a weekend of rough seas and high winds, with the ocean around the Gqeberha and Eastern Cape coastline having calmed, a local 26 year old spear fisherman took the opportunity to launch into the sea from rocks at Willows Coastal Resort, near to Noordhoek, to enjoy the calmer weather and to get in some fishing.

It appears that as he entered into the water and after an initial underwater assessment he surfaced to find he had been pulled quite far out to sea in strong underwater currents.

He found himself caught in a rip current that pulled him further out to sea.

Following 3 gallant attempts trying to get back to shore he had realised that his efforts were not successful and he rode the currents simply staying afloat, keeping his head above water.

At 16h51 his girlfriend, on the shoreline, noticed that he was struggling against rip currents and she raised the alarm by getting the attention of local Dark Water Ops officers, who were near by at the time.

Dark Water Ops operations alerted NSRI Gqeberha by contacting NSRI regional director Ian Gray directly.

NSRI Gqeberha duty crew and the NMB (Nelson Mandela Bay) water rescue network was activated.

NSRI Gqeberha and CWR (Coastal Water Rescue) dispatched rescue swimmers directly to the scene while the NSRI rescue craft Rescue 6 Bravo and Eddie Beaumont were towed to be launched at Noordhoek.

Gardmed ambulance services responded.

On NSRI and CWR rescue swimmers arrival at Willows Coastal Resort the casualties girlfriend and Dark Water Ops officers were able to indicate the casualties position, approximately 150 meters off shore.

The casualty had managed to release some of the weight of his gear, a weight belt and a spear gun, which had been tangled on the seabed.

He had managed to retain a firm hold on a bright orange floatation buoy - this assisted the emergency services to keep an eye on his progress.

He is commended for his efforts in the strong currents.

From the shoreline CWR had raised the attention of the local fishing vessel Mia Barka, who were nearby at the time.

The skipper and crew of Mia Barka diverted on a course headed towards the casualty and on being guided by CWR, assisted by NSRI, towards the casualty they located, reached and rescued the man safely onto their fishing vessel and they initiated medical treatment and the recovery of the casualty.

NSRI rescue craft launched at Noordhoek and reached fishing vessel Mia Barka where the patient was transferred onto an NSRI rescue craft and brought to Noordhoek where he was taken into the care of Gardmed paramedics and following some medical treatment he was deemed to be fit and he required no further medical care.

NSRI commend Dark Water Ops and the man's girlfriend for raising the alarm, keeping eyes on the casualty, and maintaining good communications with the responding rescue resources.

NSRI commend the skipper and crew of fishing vessel Mia Barka for their swift intervention that contributed to saving a life.

The cooperation and communications between all emergency services and the local maritime community is commended.

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