SOUTHERN CAPE: Thembalethu, Victoria Bay, Sedgefield, Hansmoeskraal, Buffalo Bay, Mossel Bay. NSRI, Police the emergency services and Municipal authorities are appealing to the South African public and tourists visiting our country to have extreme safety in mind in and around coastal and inland waters.
NSRI can confirm, in cooperation with the combined emergency services and local authorities, in the Southern Cape this past weekend 3 local male anglers sadly remain missing from 2 separate incidents and there were sadly 5 fatal drowning accidents.
2 teenagers are recovering,1 from a surfing injury, 1 from a non-fatal drowning accident and a man is recovering from a medical condition.
All care and thoughts are with those affected by these tragic events this weekend.
See details of incidents below ...
Mike Vonk, NSRI Wilderness station commander, said:
On Saturday, 3 February, at 13h12, NSRI Wilderness duty crew were activated by WC Government Health EMS Eden Metro Control following reports of 2 local fishermen reportedly swept off rocks by a wave while angling on the shoreline South of Thembalethu.
The NSRI rescue craft Ann Stratford and Spirit of Rotary were launched.
WC Government Health EMS rescue squad and ambulance, NSRI rescue swimmers, the SA Police Services, WPDS (Water Policing and Diving Services), George Fire and Rescue Services and the EMS/AMS Skymed rescue helicopter, accompanied by an NSRI ASR (Airborne Sea Rescue) crewman responded.
On arrival on the scene an extensive air, sea and shoreline search commenced.
A Fire and Rescue Services rescue craft launched and joined in the search.
It appears 3 local men were fishing together when a wave swept the one man off the rocks. While the 2 men were attempting to direct their friend to try to swim towards safety a wave washed one of the men into the water.
The third friend had tried to direct both men towards safety but after they were unable to reach safety he had hiked to their vehicles, above the cliffs, and on reaching cellphone reception he raised the alarm before returning to search for his friends who had disappeared in the surf.
Despite an extensive search there remains no signs of the 2 missing men.
Police divers are continuing in an ongoing search.
Our thoughts are with the families and friends of the 2 missing men in this difficult time.
At 16h52, Saturday, 3 February, NSRI Wilderness duty crew were alerted by NSRI lifeguards at Victoria Bay of a drowning in progress.
3 members of the public had been swimming in the surf zone when it appeared currents pulled them out from lifeguards safer designated bathing area and rip currents swept them further out to sea.
Lifeguards, recognising the developing emergency, when the 3 swimmers had ventured out of the safer demarcated swimming area, being pulled across the shoreline by currents, had dispatched 4 lifeguards into the surf to assist.
Lifeguards rescued 2 casualties to safety, they were not injured, and while swimming towards the 3rd casualty they lost sight of the male teenager in the breaking surf line and sea swells.
Lifeguards reached the area where they had last seen the teenager and they located him as he was being pulled under water.
The lifeguards, assisted by a local surfer, placed the teenager onto the surfers surfboard and initiated rescue breaths while rescuing him towards the beach.
Once ashore 3 local doctors, who happened to be there, NSRI lifeguards, NSRI medics and an ER24 paramedic continued with medical treatment and rescue breathing on the beach and were joined by additional NSRI members, emergency services and paramedics who were arriving on the scene.
With respiratory resuscitation efforts continuing the teenager was transported to hospital by ER24 ambulance in a critical condition where ongoing medical care was provided by doctors and nurses.
Following ongoing extensive medical care in hospital the teenager was stabilised and hospital staff have reported that he is expected to make a full recovery.
NSRI lifeguards, the local surfer and the off duty doctors, who assisted on the scene, are commended for their swift response that contributed to saving the teenagers life.
Thoughts remain with the teenager and his family during the recovery phase.
On Sunday, 4 February, at 12h30, NSRI Wilderness, ER24 ambulance Services, NSRI rescue swimmers, an off-duty SA National Parks ranger, the SA Police Services, WPDS (Water Policing and Diving Services) and Knysna Fire and Rescue Services responded to Sedgefield Lagoon following reports of a drowning in progress.
On arrival on the scene, NSRI found an SA National Parks honorary ranger conducting CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) efforts, on a local adult female. NSRI medics continued CPR and were joined by an off duty ER24 paramedic.
Paramedics continued with CPR and signs of life were restored to the patient on the scene.
The patient was transported to hospital by ER24 ambulance in a critical condition, where extensive efforts by doctors and nurses in hospital, continued.
It appears, from eyewitness reports, that 3 people may have been swimming together in the Lagoon when the eyewitness noticed one of the swimmers, a lady, lifeless in the water. Two Good Samaritans were able to recover the lady from the water and bystander CPR was initiated by an SA National Parks honorary ranger who was nearby and the alarm was raised.
At that stage it remained unknown, the whereabouts of 2 persons, who were suspected to have been swimming with the lady in the Lagoon, at the time. NSRI launched the sea rescue craft Lavinia.
NSRI, Police divers and emergency services conducted a search for those 2 persons, including a water search, but there were no leads at the time as to where they are or if they are missing.
Later on Sunday, at 18h02, NSRI Wilderness was alerted to reports of a body floating in the lagoon, nearby to the scene where the lady had been recovered earlier in the day. NSRI Wilderness, SA Police Services, an SA National Parks ranger, WPDS *Water Policing and Dive Services, Knysna Fire and Rescue Services, WC Government Health Forensic Pathology Service and WC Government Health EMS responded.
The body of an adult female was recovered and sadly declared deceased by the EMS paramedic.
Police divers initiated a further search.
During a scuba dive search operation Police divers located and recovered the body of an adult male from under water.
The 2 deceased were taken into the care of Government Health Forensic Pathology Services.
An inquest docket has been opened by Police.
The first casualty who had been transported to hospital earlier in the day remained in a critical condition, in hospital. Sadly, later that night, the patient was declared deceased after all efforts by doctors and nurses to save her life were exhausted in hospital.
Condolences are conveyed to family and friends of the three deceased.
At 14h24, on Sunday, 4 February, NSRI Wilderness duty crew were activated by the SA Police Services following eyewitness reports of a fisherman missing at Hansmoeskraal, near to Pacaltsdorp.
The NSRI rescue craft Ann Stratford and Spirit of Rotary was launched.
WC Government Health EMS rescue squad and ambulance, NSRI rescue swimmers, the SA Police Services, WPDS (Water Policing and Diving Services), George Fire and Rescue Services responded. Although initially activated, the EMS/AMS Skymed rescue helicopter accompanied by an NSRI ASR (Airborne Sea Rescue) crewman, were stood down from responding due to dense fog on scene.
On arrival on the scene an extensive sea and shoreline search commenced in the search for the local adult male.
George Fire and Rescue Services conducted an aerial search using a rescue drone.
Despite the extensive air, sea and shoreline search there remains no signs of the missing man.
It appears that while fishing from the shoreline the man was swept into the sea by a wave.
Police divers are continuing in an ongoing search.
Thoughts are with the family and friends of the missing man in this difficult time.
NSRI STN 12 KNYSNA:
Jerome Simonis, NSRI Knysna station commander, said:
On Sunday, 4 February, at 16h30, NSRI Knysna duty crew were activated following reports of a man collapsed on the beach at Buffalo Bay.
ER24 ambulance services were responding.
The NSRI rescue craft JayTee 4 was launched.
Our NSRI rescue vehicle and our NSRI Knysna station doctor responded.
On our NSRI rescue craft arriving on the scene 2 NSRI rescue swimmers were deployed into the water and they swam ashore where they assessed a local 84 year old male and medical treatment commenced.
On our doctor, NSRI medics and ER24 arrived on the scene, following further medical care, the man, in a stable and satisfactory condition, declined to go to hospital and he went to his own doctor for further care.
While at Buffalo Bay our NSRI crew and ER24 observed a female surfer being assisted out of the water by a public member.
NSRI crew assisted to get the teenage surfer to the beach where it was discovered she had sustained an injury while surfing.
Our doctor and ER24 paramedics initiated medical treatment and she was transported to hospital by ER24 ambulance in a stable condition for further medical care.
NSRI STN 15 MOSSEL BAY:
Andre Fraser, NSRI Mossel Bay duty coxswain, said:
On Sunday, 4 February, NSRI Mossel Bay duty crew were activated to reports of a drowning in progress at De Vette, Mossel.
NSRI rescue swimmers, WC Government Health EMS, Mossel Bay Fire and Rescue Services, the SA Police Services and By Grace ambulance services responded.
2 NSRI rescue craft were prepared to be launched.
While responding to the scene it was confirmed that 2 men were out of the water.
An NSRI member continued to the scene to assist while our NSRI assets returned to base.
Police, Fire and Rescue Services, By Grace paramedics and EMS paramedics were on the scene where paramedics exhausted all efforts to resuscitate a man, age in his early 30's, from Pacaltsdorp who was sadly declared deceased.
A 26 year old Good Samaritan, who had attempted to rescue the man, was not injured.
We believe public members had assisted them out of the surf.
The body of the man was taken into the care of Government Health Forensic Pathology Services.
Condolences are conveyed to family and friends of the deceased man.
Police have opened an inquest docket.
We believe that the man may have gotten into difficulty in rip currents when the Good Samaritan man went into the surf assist him.
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