A woman from Seepunt in the Western Cape died in hospital in the early hours of Wednesday morning after she was rescued from the sea at Rocklands beach on Tuesday afternoon.
Rescue workers were still struggling to identify the woman on Tuesday, but hospital staff were able to locate the woman’s family with the help of a pendant around her neck.
Her name and age are not known.
According to Craig Lambinon, spokesperson for the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI), the woman is thought to have been knocked off the rocks at Rocklands beach by waves when she was walking on Tuesday.
Eyewitnesses called emergency services to the scene at around 14:20, to which the NSRI (Table Bay and Bakoven), provincial and private emergency services (Netcare 911) and the police responded. Drones were also deployed to search for the woman.
Lambinon says that when the NSRI arrived at the scene, the woman was spotted about 200 meters from the shoreline where she was floating in the water.
However, it was very foggy and the woman disappeared from the rescue workers’ sight soon after.
The sea currents were also apparently very strong.
Helicopters from Sport Helicopters were deployed to search for the woman from the air while the NSRI took their rescue boat into the sea.
This rescue team found her in the sea about 500 m from the beach and loaded her onto the boat. She was lifeless and the NSRI rescue workers tried to revive her.
According to Lambinon, the woman was taken to the water club at Granger Bay where paramedics were waiting for them and immediately applied further first aid.
She was taken from there to a hospital in a critical condition.
The NSRI was among those who asked the public for help in identifying the woman on Tuesday.
“Hospital staff were able to locate and call the woman’s family with the help of a pendant around her neck.
“Her family was with her when she died.”