STATEMENT BY NSRI PORT EDWARD STATION COMMANDER JOHN NICHOLAS:
At 12h00, Monday, 18th February, NSRI Station 32 Port Edward duty crew were activated following eye-witness reports of three people in difficulty in the surf at Port Edward main beach.
Our duty crew responded to our sea rescue station to prepare to launch sea rescue craft and NSRI rescue swimmers responded directly to the scene.
On arrival on the scene we found two teenagers, a male and a female, brother and sister, safe out the water and their dad, on a bodyboard, making his way back to shore and he got out of the water safely.
It appears that the two teenagers got into difficulty while swimming and their dad used a bodyboard to go to their assistance and got caught in a rip current.
We checked the family, who are from Bloemfontein, medically and they were not injured and they required no further assistance.
At 19h18, NSRI Station 32 Port Edward duty crew were activated following reports from an NSRI Port Edward trainee crew member, at Marina Beach, of three people in difficulty in the surf at Marina Beach – two females and a male, in front of Mariners Restaurant.
The manager of Mariners Restaurant Bruce Simpson had also gone to assist, together with the NSRI trainee, and a car guard, Prince, who had provided illumination in the form of a spotlight, to identify the location of those who were in trouble in the surf.
An additional two men, bystanders using two NSRI pink rescue buoys, one that is stationed at that beach and one that was provided by an NSRI rescue swimmer, had also swum out to assist. One of the men also used a surfboard in the rescue.
NSRI rescue swimmers had by that stage also arrived on the scene assisted. Our NSRI rescue swimmers, Police Search and Rescue, Med-Evac ambulance services and NSRI rescue swimmers from NSRI Shelly Beach responded.
The casualties were rescued in a combination of the two good samaritans who themselves were also assisted by the NSRI rescue swimmers and between them all persons were safely brought out of the surf including the two good samaritans. Bruce Simpson had also entered the water and rescued one female.
Two females and a male were transported to hospital in stable conditions by Med-Evac ambulance as a precaution for observation for non-fatal drowning symptoms.
The three persons who were swimming, a South African man, a Norwegian female and a British female, were caught in rip currents. A female, from Switzerland, who is part of their party, was on the beach and not in the surf.
The three ladies, professional golfers, are on a golf tour and they had gone to the beach to swim with the South African man, who is a student and a caddy and a friend of the three ladies, when two of the ladies, the Norwegian and the British lady, (together with the South African man), were caught in rip currents.
Two local men, Everett Duarte and Sage Knows, used NSRI pink rescue buoys and a surfboard to go their assistance. Bruce Simpson had also rescued one female from the water.
NSRI commend Bruce, Everett and Sage for their actions and the car guard Prince for his assistance.
Once out the water the South African man, a teenager, and the British lady and the Norwegian lady, were transported to hospital as a precaution and they are recovering.
The three ladies are taking part in the San Lameer Ladies Golf Tournament.
Earlier in the day, NSRI Port Edward medics had assisted the emergency services at a motor vehicle accident on the R61 where four people were injured and transported to hospital by ambulance.