Man swept out to sea by rip currents rescued by NSRI

APRIL 5, 2016

A man, who was swept out to sea by rip currents on Monday morning, had a lucky escape when he was rescued by the National Sea Rescue Institute's (NSRI) crew in Wilderness.

"At 17h27, Monday, 04th April, NSRI Wilderness duty crew were activated following multiple eye-witness reports of a man being swept out to sea by rip currents while swimming at Stander se Gat, between Leentjiesklip and Wilderness," described NSRI spokesperson, Craig Lambinon.

"NSRI rescue swimmers responded directly to the scene by road while the sea rescue craft Clemen Gold Rescuer was launched."

WC Government Health EMS, George Fire and Rescue Services, the SA Police Services and ER24 ambulance services were activated to also respond.

"The first NSRI rescue swimmer to arrive on the scene by road, Andrew Barrel, launched into the water and swam to the casualty using a rip current to reach the casualty swimmer quickly and reaching him at the back surf line and the casualty swimmer, 24 year old CJ Coetzee, from Wilderness, was secured by Andrew using a rescue torpedo tube," said Lambinon.

"Rescue swimmer Andrew Barrel secured the patient, using a rescue torpedo tube, behind the back breakers and within minutes the sea rescue craft arrived on the scene and Mr Coetzee was taken safely aboard the sea rescue craft.

"Mr. Coetzee was brought to the beach aboard the sea rescue craft while NSRI medics began medical treatment on the patient for non fatal drowning symptoms on the boat and once on the beach the patient was taken up the beach by NSRI and handed into the care of paramedics who continued medical treatment and the patient has been transported to hospital by an ER24 ambulance in a stable condition for observation for secondary drowning and he is expected to fully recover."

The multiple eye-witnesses, who reported the incident and the rapid response of NSRI Wilderness and the emergency services to this incident is commended.