Several people got into difficulty and were rescued while swimming in the sea at Salt Rock, near Ballito north of Durban on Saturday afternoon. Photo: Netcare 911

Ballito - Several people got into difficulty and were rescued while swimming in the sea at Salt Rock, near Ballito north of Durban on Saturday afternoon, paramedics said.

Netcare 911 paramedics, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI), and other emergency services responded just before 2pm to reports of a drowning at an unprotected non-swimming beach in Salt Rock, north of Ballito, Netcare 911 spokesman Shawn Herbst said.

Reports from a source at the scene indicated that a group of swimmers got into difficulty while swimming, he said.

"A 53-year-old man who witnessed the event rushed to the rescue, pulling one person out the water and bravely returned to assist the others. The man managed to retrieve a 17-year-old female who was part of the group who became submerged while swimming, but experienced difficulties himself."

Both patients were moved to shore where KwaDukuza lifeguards assessed the female where she was found to be not breathing and unresponsive. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) was initiated by the KwaDukuza lifeguards prior to the arrival of ambulance services who initiated a full advanced life support resuscitation, successfully regaining a pulse.

A helicopter ambulance airlifted the young woman in a critical condition to hospital. The adult man was stabilised on the scene and transported by Netcare 911 ambulance to hospital for further assessment, Herbst said.

African News Agency (ANA)