Local heroes rescue dad and baby washed away by wave at Kalk Bay

Published Feb 19, 2024


Two local men have been hailed as heroes after rescuing a father and his 6-month-old child when they were washed into the harbour by a wave at Kalk Bay on Saturday.

National Sea Rescue Institute spokesperson Craig Lambinon said just after midday, their NSRI Simon’s Town duty crew was alerted to eyewitness reports of the child being washed away by the wave.

Lambinon said the crew responded to their station 10 rescue base to prepare to launch a rescue craft while the City water rescue network, NSRI coast watchers, NSRI rescue swimmers and Cape Medical Response (CMR) were activated. Lifeguards near the Kalk Bay harbour also responded.

“It was reported by eyewitnesses that a wave that unexpectedly breached over the outer harbour pier had swept a local male toddler, in a stroller, and his dad, into the water together, while also sweeping some of the other pier pedestrians off their feet.

“Two Good Samaritans, a local man, who was with his family on the pier, and a another man who works at Kalk Bay harbour, leapt into the water to assist. The toddler, who had earlier just been unstrapped in the stroller, was kept afloat by his dad while the Good Samaritans reached them. The toddler was rescued from the water by the Good Samaritans who then assisted the dad from the water.

“The stroller, and some other belongings, were recovered from the water by a third Good Samaritan, who also works at the harbour, who had also jumped in to assist,” said Lambinon.

Lambinon said one of their station commanders who happened to be in the area on his private boat at the time also responded to the scene.

“By that stage we had been notified by eyewitnesses that all were safe and out of the water but medical assistance was required.

“On arrival on the scene CMR paramedics initiated medical treatment to the child and the dad. Both, in stable conditions, were transported to hospital by CMR ambulance for further care and for observation for non-fatal drowning symptoms.”

The family are from Muizenberg and they regularly visit Kalk Bay.

“We commend the Good Samaritans, and all of the bystanders and family members who were involved in helping, for their quick thinking to rescue the toddler and to assist the dad from the water.

“The dad is commended for keeping his son’s head above water before the Good Samaritans reached them. We commend a local lady who assisted to provide a warm jersey to the toddler,” said Lambinon.

Eyewitness Valerio Paci, who often visits the harbour to buy fresh fish, said one of the Good Samaritans, a diver only known as Tony at this stage, performed an “extraordinary act of bravery that placed his life in great danger in rescuing the child and father”.

Cape Times