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NSRI Plettenberg Bay duty crew were activated following reports of a mass drowning in progress at Natures Valley, at a beach adjacent to the lifeguard protected beach.

Bitou lifeguards were alerted and they responded to that beach where they entered the water, using Malibu rescue boards, to assist 4 local men caught in rip currents.

3 of the men managed to reach the shore and they had exited the water while lifeguards established that one man remained missing and they continued to paddle out towards where it was indicated the man was last seen.

NSRI Plettenberg Bay rescue swimmers, WC Government Health EMS, SA Police Services, Bitou Municipal and community authorities and SA National Parks rangers responded directly to the beach while the NSRI rescue craft Ray Farnham rescuer and Courtneys rescuer were launched.

On arrival on the scene NSRI assisted lifeguards in a search for the missing 22 year old man.

During a search the man was located submerged underwater.

NSRI rescue swimmers were deployed into the surf and free dived to reach the man bringing him to the surface where he was recovered onto the rescue craft.

CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) efforts were commenced onboard the rescue craft while bringing the man to the beach.

On reaching the beach paramedics, assisted by NSRI medics, continued with CPR but after all efforts to resuscitate the man were exhausted sadly he was declared deceased.

The body of the man was taken into the care of Government Health Forensic Pathology Services.

Police have opened an inquest docket.

The 3 men, who were able to exit the water, were not injured.

Condolences are conveyed to family and friends of the deceased man.

NSRI are appealing to bathers to only swim at lifeguard protected beaches and swim where lifeguards have posted the safer swimming area demarcated by their red and yellow flags.

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