Ballito lifeguards’ flip-off popular on YouTube

2014-01-02 00:00

A VIDEO clip showing two Salt Rock Beach lifeguards being flipped off their rubber duck in Ballito has gone viral on YouTube.

Municipal spokesperson Sfiso Zulu said the incident happened on December 13.

The video, which was shot by a surfer, noted that the conditions were rough and shows two lifeguards launching the boat through the surf.

As the skipper opened the throttle to crest a wave, the boat flipped over, throwing both guards off the boat.

While the fit lifeguards fought the waves to safety, the high waves tossed the rubber duck about, its prop still running.

The boat was eventually washed to the shore and onlookers helped to switch the engine off.

Zulu said the lifeguards were rushing to a busy Willard beach in Ballito. “They were out to patrol on that beach and they met with heavy waves.

“They were not injured. The best part is that other guards in the same area managed to get people who were swimming in the beach out of the water,” said Zulu.

He said an investigation is under way to ascertain whether the incident was due to human error or a mechanical fault.

Zulu said life guards launch boats even in rough conditions as long as there was activity on the beaches.

Chair of Life Saving KZN Mike Raubenheimer said the incident was unusual.

He said the guards were at risk of being cut by the spinning prop. “The rotor had to hit something for it to stop.

“That was a dangerous situation and there was nothing much they could have done in the water,” he said.

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