DURBAN - Lifeguards based at Pipeline Beach in eManzimtoti, south of Durban, were applauded for carrying out a massive rescue operation on Saturday.
In a video making the rounds on social media, a man, who declined to be named, is heard reporting that about 10 to 15 bathers were swept to sea from a crowd of swimmers.
The man said the patients were secured and lifeguards tried to get them onto the boat.
“There was a massive shore break. The conditions were extreme, some of the worst you would find in the world,” he said.
While the rescue operation continued, another person was swept away. The man said beach users were not obeying the caution from lifeguards on duty under treacherous conditions.
Crowds cheered as the first boat of bathers were brought to shore. The lifeguards returned to rescue the rest of the bathers.
“These eThekwini lifeguards are just amazing, they are in a different class,” the man said.
Crowds cheered again as the last bathers were brought to shore by boat and surfboard by lifeguards.
“All patients have been secured. We have to still deal with the large crowds, ” the man said.
Meanwhile, an eight-year-old child died after drowning at a resort in Port Edward, south of KwaZulu-Natal, on Saturday afternoon.
The KwaZulu Private Ambulance (KZPA) service responded to a resort in Port Edward following reports of a drowning.
When paramedics arrived, they found the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) Port Edward had started cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the child that had drowned in a pool.
“Advanced Life Support paramedics took over resuscitation and were able to successfully get the child's heart beating again,” KZPA said.
The service said the patient was then rushed to a local hospital with advanced life support intervention.
“Despite all the efforts of paramedics and hospital staff the child deteriorated and was pronounced dead at the hospital,” KZPA said.