Richard Kettledas, left, and NSRI Oyster Bay commander Lodewyk van Rensburg Picture: NSRI
Richard Kettledas, left, and NSRI Oyster Bay commander Lodewyk van Rensburg Picture: NSRI

Oyster Bay uncle risks life to save teen nephews caught in rip tide

By Staff Writer Time of article published Jan 15, 2020

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Cape Town – An Oyster Bay uncle has been hailed a hero after he saved his two nephews who got into difficulty in a rip current.

Ricardo Kettledas, 29, risked his life for the boys, both aged 14, with the help of the National Sea Rescue Institutes’s (NSRI) Pink Rescue Buoy.

Lodewyk van Rensburg, NSRI station commander at Oyster Bay in the Eastern Cape, said the duty crew were activated following reports of children in distress in the surf.

“Three children and one teenager were not too deep when they got caught in the rip current and managed to get safely out of the water. But two teenagers were swept out to sea.

“Kettledas instructed the children to go and grab the pink buoy for him and he launched into the surf. He was able to rescue one of the teenagers, who showed signs of non-fatal drowning. 

"When I arrived on the scene I placed that teenager in the recovery position, and I was informed that another one teenager was still missing in the surf,” said Van Rensburg.

The rescued teenager was then left in a recovery position while additional sea rescue crew made their way to the scene.

“Myself and Kettledas launched into the surf and at the backline we were able to reach the remaining teenager, who was lifeless in the water. Kettledas still had the pink rescue buoy with him and we brought the teenager to shore. 

"Once on the shore, I commenced CPR efforts. A pulse and spontaneous breathing was restored to the teenager during CPR efforts and the teenager was taken into the care of paramedics."

NSRI spokesperson Craig Lambinon said the first rescued teenager has been discharged from hospital while the second remained under observation.

Cape Times

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