Donate Shop Call for Help Now Find a Base


087 094 9774

5 Lives were saved on Sunday in cooperation with bystander Good Samaritans, Pink Rescue Buoys, and a lady using a bodyboard. A further 3 lives were saved by bystander Good Samaritan efforts



On Saturday, 25 November, at 17h38, NSRI Melkbosstrand and NSRI Table Bay duty crews were activated following reports of a drowning in progress at Milnerton Lagoon Beach.

Milnerton Surf Lifesaving lifeguards, CoCT (City of Cape Town) lifeguards, NSRI Table Bay and NSRI Melkbosstrand rescue swimmers, CoCT Law Enforcement, ER24 ambulance services, WC Government Health EMS, the SA Police Services and Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services responded.

Lifeguards, arriving on the beach first, confirmed that a 23 year old Ravensmead man had been rescued from the water by friends.

Lifeguards initiated medical care and they were joined by Fire Services and EMS paramedics.

The man was transported to hospital by ER24 ambulance in a serious but stable condition where he is expected to make a full recovery.

The swift response by lifeguards is commended.



On Sunday, 26 November, NSRI Bakoven dispatched rescue swimmers and launched the NSRI Bakoven rescue craft Gemini Legend to respond to Saunders Beach, Bantry Bay, where a body boarder, reported to be being swept out to sea, was being assisted by a Good samaritan bystander who we believe swam out to assist.

The CoCT water rescue network was activated and CoCT Law Enforcement, ER24 ambulance services, WC Government Health EMS and the SA Police Services also responded.

On arrival on the scene they had made it safely out of the water without assistance and they required no further care.

Then at 15h08, NSRI Table Bay, NSRI Bakoven and the CoCT water rescue network were activated to reports of a drowning in progress at Saunders Beach, Bantry Bay.

Good Samaritan Andrew Speedy, a bystander who is formerly of NSRI Melkbosstrand, launched into the surf armed with the NSRI pink rescue buoy that is stationed at the beach.

Eye-witnesses have confirmed to NSRI that the casualty, a local man, age 49, was holding onto the pink buoy while Andrew assisted him to rocks along the shore where bystanders helped him to recover the man.

He was attended to on the scene by EMS paramedics and following medical treatment he required no further assistance.

Andrew is commended for saving the man’s life.



Paul van Jaarsveld, NSRI Jeffreys Bay station commander, said:

NSRI Jeffreys Bay duty crew were activated at 14h22, Sunday, 26 November, following reports of a drowning in progress at Kabeljous Beach, Jeffreys Bay.

The NSRI rescue craft Rescue 37 Charlie was launched while NSRI rescue swimmers, SA Police Services, EC Government Health EMS and Gardmed ambulance services responded.

While responding to the scene it became clearer that at least 3 people were caught in rip currents and public members were in the water assisting.

3 NSRI pink rescue buoys, stationed along that beach vicinity, had been deployed.

The Jeffreys Bay family, a mom, dad and their children, a boy 15 and a girl 13, were visiting the beach with the mom’s sister who had just arrived from Pretoria.

Knowing that lifeguards are not at that beach, but seeing many people in the water there, the mom, dad, the son and the aunt waded in to waist deep water before the son cautioned them that they were in danger.

Their 13 year old daughter remained on the beach not aware of the danger they were about to face.

Before they knew it currents had separated them and they suddenly found themselves out of their depth and caught in unforgiving rip currents.

The male teenager (the son) retreated to the beach and he sought help including raising the attention of his sister who also ran for help.

Bystanders by that stage were throwing all 3 pink buoys stationed at the beach towards the 3 casualties.

Janine Birney, of Jeffreys Bay, raised the alarm calling NSRI, after a 13 year old local girl ran up to her and her friend Natalie Rhodes, frantically drawing their attention to her Mom, dad and her aunt (it appears that the aunt is from Pretoria and had only been in Jeffreys Bay visiting the family since Saturday) in difficulty in the water. The girl frantically appealed to Janine and Natalie for help.

Natalie grabbed her body board and launched into the water to go to assist (Natalie grew up in Johannesburg and at school in Potchefstroom she had achieved swimming Provincial colors). So she did not hesitate to go to help while Janine called NSRI.

A bystander calmed the boy and prevented him from re-entering the water realising that he was exhausted.

Duvan van Breda, 28, of Duvan Fishing Charters, on the beach at his wind shield, with French fishing tourists on a shoreline angling fishing charter, was alerted by bystanders who came running up to him shouting for help.

Duvan and his videographer, Gustav Schlechter, reacted swiftly and they both launched into the water to assist.

Duvan told NSRI he witnessed 3 people in the water, a dad and his wife, from Jeffreys Bay, and a family member, who we believe is from Pretoria, she was in her jeans, and all 3 of them were in grave distress and in grave danger and obviously caught in strong rip currents.

Duvan noticed 3 NSRI pink buoys were floating in the vicinity.

Duvan admits that lifeguard training he undertook when he was at school kicked in and his videographer, Gustav, happens to be a South African champion swimmer.

They did not hesitate to go in and help.

Duvan reached a female, (now believed to be the Aunt of the 13 year old - she was holding onto an NSRI pink rescue buoy that was aiding her to stay afloat).

Duvan was able to coral her towards a shallower sand bank where she was able to stand. There he managed to calm her. Then he managed to get her to shore safely.

Gustav had reached the female (the mom of the 13 year old).

Duvan had returned into the surf and he reached the dad and encouraged him to tread water while holding onto the body board - but he was getting very tired, said Duvan.

Then Good Samaritan Natalie Rhodes arrived with her body board at the dad and Duvan. The dad used her body board to stay afloat.

Natalie has told NSRI that when she reached the man he held onto the body board and she climbed off and held onto the one side of the board – they were both using the board to stay afloat.

During this time Gustav was helping the female (the mom) towards the shore but the rip currents hampered their efforts. Eventually Gustav reached the shore with the lady (the Aunt) and she was taken into the care of bystanders.

Gustav returned into the water and arrived at Duvan, the girl Good Samaritan and the dad.

An unidentified person, armed with a pink rescue buoy, arrived at them which Natalie held onto giving the dad exclusive use of the body board for floatation.

The unidentified person assisted in encouraging them to swim away from the rip current.

Together they floated out there for about 20 minutes, all the while with Duvan and the unidentified man gently coaxing them and corralling them to try to escape the rip current, and they all eventually managed to reach the shore.

By the time they were all on the beach NSRI and rescue services were arriving on the beach.

The mom and her husband were transported to hospital in serious but stable conditions, by Gardmed ambulance, where they are recovering in the care of doctors and nurses.

Everyone involved, including all bystanders, are commended for saving 3 lives.

The pink rescue buoys and the body board, used for floatation, have been hailed as essential in this rescue, by the Good Samaritans and the casualties.



At 15h41, Sunday, 26 November, NSRI Melkbosstrand, NSRI Table Bay, CoCT Law Enforcement and lifeguards responded to Sunset Beach following reports of 2 males in difficulty in the surf.

According to eye-witness reports one male exited the water without assistance and one male was rescued from the water by a bystander who used the NSRI pink rescue buoy, stationed at the beach, to successfully rescue the male.

They were not injured.



At Sedgfield Lagoon Mouth a 41 year old local Good Samaritan bystander rescued an unidentified adult male from under the water and on bringing him to shore bystanders initiated CPR efforts and were able to restore a pulse and spontaneous breathing.

NSRI Wilderness, Knysna Fire and Rescue Services, ER24 ambulance services and the SA Police Services responded.

A 13 year old local male had also tried to rescue the man but retreated after the man had disappeared under water.

NSRI medics and ER24 paramedics arriving on the scene continued with medical treatment and the man was been transported to hospital by ER24 ambulance in a critical condition.

NSRI are appealing to the family of the 13 year old to call NSRI’s Craig Lambinon at 0823803800.

NSRI commend the 13 year old and the 41 year old man for their efforts that contributed to saving the life of the man.



NSRI Agulhas, Overberg Fire and Rescue Services, the SA Police Services and WC Government Health EMS responded to reports of a drowning in progress at Struisbaai North on Sunday afternoon, 26 November.

On arrival on the scene, 2 NSRI rescue craft were launched, in a sea and shoreline search for a 23 year old male who disappeared under water in what appears to be a sad tragedy – not related to the rip current alert.

SAPS WPDS (Water Policing and Dive Services) joined the extensive search operation for the missing man but the man remains missing.

Police have opened an investigation and SAPS WPDS divers are continuing in an ongoing search.

Next Article

Tragic Drowning Incident at Saunders Beach

Read More

You may also like

Rocky Bay Station 39
RESCUES  | Published: 11 June 2024

A commercial fishing vessel, capsized at the backline surf zone at Umgababa Main Beach

At 08h16, Tuesday, 11 June, NSRI Rocky Bay, an NSRI lifeguard, an NSRI Durban crewman, the SA Police Services, Police Search and Rescue, Netcare 911 ambulance, eThekwini Fire and Rescue Services, KwaZulu EMRS (Emergency Medical and Rescue Services), Metro Search ...

Cape fur seal
ANIMAL RESCUE  | Published: 7 June 2024

Rabies outbreak: City of Cape Town urges public to stay away from seals

The City of Cape Town is advising the public to stay away from seals as far as possible, and with immediate effect. ...

NSRI PRB Kids Rock
PINK RESCUE BUOY  | Published: 7 June 2024

Pink Rescue Buoys established at Kids Rock Bloubergstrand

The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) has installed two Pink Rescue Buoys off Kleinbaai in response to the tragic drowning incident that occurred on Tuesday, the 14th of May, at Kids Rock. ...