Plett surfers described as heroes for saving UK family

BY CHARL BOSCH - AUGUST 12, 2016

Two surfers from Plettenberg Bay have been lauded after rescuing three UK tourists caught in a rip-current on Thursday afternoon.

In a statement, National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) Plettenberg Bay station commander Marc Rodgers said the 52-year man, believed to be from Newcastle Upon Tyne, was taking an afternoon swim with his 15-year old daughter and 18-year son at Lookout Beach just after 16h05, when they got caught in the currents and washed out to see.

He said the surfers, Jock Kannemeyer and Andy Fermor, witnessed the incident and launched their surfboards, managing to reach the swimmers some 100 m off-shore and placing the father and son on their boards, while the girl was kept afloat in the ocean.

“[The] rip-currents were too strong to try to get them to the beach and the surfers were aware that NSRI had been activated so they kept the three swimmers safe and calm using the two surfboards for floatation behind the breaker line,” Rodgers said.

“[Once on the scene], NSRI rescue swimmers were deployed into the surf and they began to assist the casualties towards the beach through the surf line and then wading them ashore once they were closer to the beach. One surfer and his board was taken aboard a sea rescue craft and brought to shore”.

Rodgers said the swimmers, joined by the mother who was sitting on the beach at the time, were taken to hospital not long after, with the father showing signs of exhaustion and drowning symptoms. He was kept in hospital overnight for observation and is expected to make a full recovery, while is children were unharmed.

“The two local surfers who assisted in this rescue today are commended for their efforts,” he said.