Cape Vidal Bay in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park in St Lucia. File Picture
Cape Vidal Bay in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park in St Lucia. File Picture

KZN Good Samaritan uses kite board to rescue 4 from capsized St Lucia boat

By Karen Singh Time of article published Oct 13, 2021

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DURBAN: A Hazyview Good Samaritan was in the right place at the right time when a boat carrying four people capsized at Cape Vidal Bay in the iSimangaliso Wetland Park in St Lucia at the weekend.

Jurgens Lubbe, 47, who owns a rafting company in Hazyview, was kite boarding nearby when he saw people on the beach pointing towards the water on Saturday, said the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI).

Jan Hoffman, the NSRI St Lucia station commander, said Lubbe noticed the upturned boat with two men clinging onto the upturned hull and a man and woman in the water nearby.

The NSRI St Lucia duty crew were activated.

The people who were on the boat included the 62-year old owner and skipper from Durban; his son and the son’s girlfriend as well as a family friend.

The NSRI St Lucia sea rescue vehicle, additional NSRI crew and Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife members also responded.

“Jurgens kite boarded towards them and, on reaching them, he was able to pull the girl to the shore where NSRI members and public members took her from him.”

Hoffman said Lubbe volunteered to kite board back out to assist. NSRI rescue swimmers handed him an NSRI pink rescue buoy, stationed along that stretch of beach.

“Jurgens reached them in the water and gave the life jacket to the friend and the pink buoy to the younger man – as aids to stay afloat – they were about 30 to 40m apart from each other,” he said.

He said the son was able to swim towards the rocks where he was pulled out of the water by NSRI rescue swimmers and members of the public.

Lubbe pulled the friend towards the rocks where an NSRI rescue swimmer swam out and, together with members of the public, assisted him onto the rocks, he said.

“Jurgens then pulled the skipper from the backline towards rocks where an NSRI rescue swimmer assisted.”

Hoffman said the wind speed lasted just long enough for Lubbe to assist to rescue the casualties. After the friend was out of the water, the wind died down to a point where he could no longer raise his kite.

“The skipper was seriously injured and he was medically attended to by a doctor, Dr Pierre Els, from Richards Bay, who happened to be at the beach at the time, assisted by NSRI medics, before being transported in the NSRI rescue vehicle to St Lucia where Netcare 911 ambulance services arrived and their paramedics continued with medical treatment.”

He said the patient was airlifted to hospital in a serious but stable condition.

NSRI commended Lubbe, the doctor and all the members of the public who assisted.

THE MERCURY

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