Coast KZN

01 Nov 2016

Perilous sea rescue at Ballito beach

(North Coast Courier)

Onlookers and emergency personal at Clarke Bay where a man was swept out to sea this afternoon.The two lifeguard’s in the foreground, Xolani Ngubani and Ben Mthimkhulu, rescued him. (Photo Credit: IPSS Medical Rescue)

Due to the strong shore-break and dangerous rip-current the beach was closed from 2.30pm.

A holidaymaker from Pretoria was swept out to sea at Clarke Bay this afternoon.

Paul Herbst of IPSS Medical Rescue told The Courier that they received calls from the public saying a man was carried out by strong currents just after 4pm.

“Luckily for the man, KwaDukuza lifegaurds were available and managed to get him back to shore,” said Herbst.

IPSS Medical Rescue staff assessed the man at the beach, who was lucky to be unharmed by the experience.

According to KwaDukuza lifeguard supervisor Bongani Xulu the beach was closed at the time of the rescue.

“Due to the strong shore-break and dangerous rip-current the beach was closed from 2.30pm.”

A red flag means that the beach is closed to swimmers.

“Our lifeguards were about to knock off when the man was carried out to sea,” said Xulu.

“As they were leaving they noticed beachgoers in a panic who drew their attention to the struggling man.

“They dropped everything, grabbed their gear and dove into the water after him.”

“By the time they reached him he was way past the mid-break.”

Xulu said that the two lifeguards, Xolani Ngubani and Ben Mthimkhulu weren’t even professional lifesavers – but were temporary staff as the usual lifeguards were on a training course.

“These two guys showed remarkable guts and I expect they may even receive an award for bravery.”

IPSS Medical Rescue has cautioned beachgoers to swim only at protected beaches.


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