File picture: Sibonelo Ngcobo/African News Agency (ANA)
File picture: Sibonelo Ngcobo/African News Agency (ANA)

Eerste River man drowns going to aid of woman in surf

By Sisonke Mlamla Time of article published Jan 6, 2020

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Cape Town - A 27-year-old man from Eerste River drowned in Kleinmond on Saturday afternoon despite concerted efforts by lifeguards and paramedics to save him.

The man reportedly got into difficulty in the surf after attempting to rescue a woman who was caught in rip currents. Instead, he got himself into difficulty and drowned.

National Sea Rescue Institute Kleinmond station commander Schalk Boonzaaier said the man was declared dead following the extensive CPR efforts that were made after bringing him back from the beach.

Boonzaaier said at about 4pm on Saturday, NSRI Kleinmond duty crew were activated in response to a Palmiet Beach report that lifeguards were rescuing a man in the water.

“NSRI crew responded and CMC ambulance services and Western Cape Health EMS were activated,” Boonzaaier said.

“When NSRI and CMC ambulance service paramedics arrived on the scene they found that lifeguards had initiated CPR.”

He said lifeguards were summoned from an adjacent beach and had reportedly found the man lifeless in the water. They had initiated CPR after getting him back from the beach.

“The female reportedly reached the beach and was not injured. NSRI medics and CMC paramedics assisted lifeguards in extensive CPR efforts but sadly, after efforts to resuscitate the man were exhausted he was declared deceased,” Boonzaaier said.

Police attended the scene and opened an inquest docket. The man's body was taken into the care of the Forensic Pathology Services.

Also on Saturday, at about 11.36am, the NSRI Kleinmond crew went to the rescue of a rigid inflatable boat with a family of five on board, offshore of Kleinmond Harbour.

“Our sea rescue craft, Jaytee 3, was launched and reached them offshore and the mom and the three children were taken aboard our sea rescue craft. NSRI crew were transferred on to the casualty craft, the dad also remained on board, and we brought the mom and three children to shore,” Boonzaaier said.

He said they returned to the casualty craft and towed it into Kleinmond Harbour without incident.

In an incident in Knysna, Jerome Simonis, Knysna NSRI station commander, said at about 6.18pm on Saturday they launched sea rescue craft and the provincial government EMS and Knysna Fire and Rescue Services responded.

“Prior to our sea rescue craft launching we were notified that an unidentified Good Samaritan had launched into the surf to assist a father and his son who were reportedly caught in rip currents and swept to beyond the backline.”

Simonis said the man reportedly reached the pair and assisted and guided them back towards the beach where Samantha Muller, a Cape Town off-duty Big Bay Lifesaving lifeguard, on holiday at Brenton-On-Sea, waded into the surf with an NSRI Pink Rescue Buoy to help them on to the beach.

“The American father and son were medically checked by paramedics on the scene and they were not injured and they required no further assistance,” Simonis said, and commended those who went to their aid.

@SISONKE_MD

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