Munster man saves woman from drowning

2011-04-13 00:00

A WOMAN was saved from drowning by a Munster man just off Margate beachfront yesterday morning.

Eric Ngeleka (41) was walking along the beach just south of Margate beachfront at around 10.45 am when he saw a woman struggling to stay afloat in the water near the rocks.

“I saw her and she was battling so I walked onto the rocks and jumped in after her,” said Ngeleka.

“I managed to pull her out of the water. She was trying to talk, but she couldn’t because she was crying so much,” he said.

The woman — who is yet to be identified — was reportedly swimming alone and got caught in a current that swept her sideways further south of where she was initially swimming.

Another passerby — Roelof van Wyk (63) of Margate — was driving alongside the beach in his bakkie when he saw Ngeleka in the water trying to rescue the woman.

Van Wyk drove to Margate main beach where he alerted the lifeguards on duty of the situation.

“Four of the lifeguards jumped on my bakkie and then I brought them here [to the scene],” said Van Wyk.

“We then went back again to get oxygen tanks.”

Van Wyk complimented the lifeguards, saying they conducted their duties speedily and professionally.

Paramedics from Med-Evac and members of a police search-and-rescue team arrived promptly on the scene to take over from the lifeguards.

The victim was stabilised and stretchered off the beach to an ambulance.

She was taken to the Port Shepstone Provincial Hospital for treatment, although it appeared that she had sustained no serious injuries and was in a stable condition.

Were it not for Ngeleka, the South Coast could very well have been the venue for yet another drowning.

“I don’t know if I’m much of a hero,” said Ngeleka.

“I’m just glad that she is okay and that I was here to help.”

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