File picture: Supplied

WILDERNESS - A man has gone missing while swimming in the sea at a beach in Wilderness on the Southern Cape coast, and a tourist was rescued after getting into difficulty in the same area, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) said on Sunday.

NSRI Wilderness duty crew and Western Cape government health emergency medical services (EMS) were activated at 11.45am on Saturday following reports of a drowning in progress at Lientjies Klip, Wilderness Beach, the NSRI said in a statement.

The sea rescue craft Clemengold Rescuer was launched and an NSRI rescue vehicle, a metro rescue vehicle, and the South African Police Service (SAPS) also responded.

"On arrival on the scene, a search commenced for a 26-year-old Oudtshoorn man on a day trip to the coast with family and friends who had gone missing in the surf while swimming.

"Despite an extensive sea and shoreline search no sign of the missing man has been found and a police dive unit are continuing in an ongoing search operation. Thoughts are with the family and friends of the missing man in this difficult time. Police have opened an investigation," the statement said.

On Friday late afternoon, NSRI Wilderness duty crew were activated at 5.15pm following reports of a drowning in progress at Wilderness main beach.

"On arrival on the scene we found local surfer Phillip Crankshaw had rescued an adult male British tourist from the surf after the tourist had been caught in rip currents while swimming. The casualty was transported to hospital by ER24 ambulance in a stable condition as a precaution for treatment and observations for non-fatal drowning symptoms," the NSRI said.

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African News Agency (ANA)