Johannesburg - A man was in critical condition in hospital after he was rescued from drowning at Windmill Beach in Simon’s Town on Sunday, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) said.

NSRI station commander Darren Zimmerman said the crew was called to the scene at 12.55pm.

He said rescue teams found the 30-year-old man on the beach with the stand-up paddle boarder who had rescued him.

“It is believed that the man, who is reportedly from Pretoria, had been face-down in the surf for at least 10 minutes before the stand-up paddle boarder had reached him and rescued him from the surf,” said Zimmerman.

Witnesses told paramedics that the man had difficulty while swimming in the sea, he said.

“Following approximately 50 minutes of CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), the patient was airlifted to hospital by the Skymed helicopter.”

The man, whose name was not released, was in critical condition, Zimmerman said. - Sapa