Coast KZN

18 Oct 2016

Five rescued at Ballito beach

Sihle Mlambo (Daily News)


Ballito-based volunteer rescuers have again come to the aid of funseekers trapped on the rocks at Thompson’s Bay Beach.

Early this month, the Daily News reported how the Specialised Rescue Team (SRU), saved sunbathing students trapped by spring tides on the rocks beyond the “hole in the wall” at the same beach.

On Sunday it was a case of deja vu for Quentin Power and other members of the SRU team who said they rescued five people, including a 13-year-old girl.

“They had been fishing in the bay and were unaware that the tide was high and when they tried to leave, the tide was too high to come across the rocky walkway,” he said.

Jadene Govender, 23, among the five, said she had been with her 13-year-old sister and her fishermen cousins when they became trapped.

It was their first time at the beach as they usually fished at Westbrook Beach.

The oThongathi resident said a friend had suggest the beach as a good fishing spot.

But in two hours there they caught nothing. All the while the spring tide was doing its work, with waves crashing on the rocks.

“It was scary because we were at the end and when we saw the tide was coming up it was too late – we were stuck there,” she said.

“We tried to remain calm for two hours, because I did not want to panic and make my little sister worried, but it got really scary when it started to rain, the waves got stronger and the tide was getting higher, we were on the rocks and the water was coming right up,” she said.

Asked how her sister had coped, Govender said: “I was panicking more than her, she was the one keeping me calm telling me it’s going to be okay. She is much braver than me.”

She said she called her neighbour, a paramedic, when she realised they were in danger and the volunteer rescue group was summoned to help.

“They were very reassuring and well equipped and they know their job very well. They told us we must be very attentive, they took out my sister first,” she said.

Power said SRU were a team of 20 volunteers operating mainly from eMdloti to Ballito.

He said they also assisted with a suspected drunk driver at the weekend who had been playing “chicken” with the waves while driving around on the shore in a Jeep.

The water began to pull the car in, he said. A tractor was required to pull the car out of the water.


Online Article