Coast KZN

07 Nov 2016

Ballito local rescues Mpumalanga visitor from rip current

Michelle Dennis (North Coast Courier)

Thompson’s Bay

A holidaymaker was swept out to sea during his swim just after 8am this morning.

Ballito resident Luke van der Merwe rescued a holidaymaker from Mpumalanga who was caught in a current during his swim just after 8am this morning.

“We were doing a photoshoot at Thompson’s Bay this morning when we heard a guy in the sea shouting for help,” said Van der Merwe.

“He was sucked out by the current and was about 20 to 25 metres out.

“I immediately dived in and rescued him.

“He was still panic-stricken when we reached the shore, and slowly calmed down.
“The paramedics came arrived within minutes and checked his vital signs.”

IPSS Medical Rescue‘s Paul Herbst said they checked the man who was exhausted but otherwise unharmed. He did not want to go to hospital.

Jandre Coetzee (22) said he was in Ballito for the weekend with a friend.

“I had a last swim and dived through a big wave and got caught in a current and was drawn out deeper and deeper,” said Coetzee.

“I knew it would eventually spit me out, but I started to get scared being dragged out so deep.

“Then this guy dives in to help me and tells me he knows this place and to calm down.

“He brought me back safely and I have a sore body but I thank God for my life.”

There were no lifeguards on duty at the time.

KwaDukuza lifeguard supervisor Bongani Xulu said the lifeguards were running 10 minutes late this morning and that he received a call about the incident at 8.10am.

Xulu said lifeguards were on duty from 8am to 4pm until November 17.

“From November 18 lifeguards will be on duty from 6am to 6pm.”

This is the second near-drowning of holidaymakers in Ballito within a week.

A man from Pretoria was swept out to sea at Clarke Bay on Tuesday afternoon.


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