German man rescues UCT student

2010-11-17 10:05
UCT student Marks Mhlafu is treated on the rocks in Camps Bay after being rescued in the sea by a German citizen. (ER24)

UCT student Marks Mhlafu is treated on the rocks in Camps Bay after being rescued in the sea by a German citizen. (ER24)

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Camps Bay - A German citizen on Tuesday saved the life of a University of Cape Town student who was swept out to sea while swimming at Camp's Bay.

Marks Mhlafu, 19, a first-year student, went swimming with Bright Mahlangu, 21, from Mpumalanga and Stephen Mokhua, 19, from Bloemfontein, at Maiden's Cove in Camp's Bay.

But strong sea currents and a wind of about 40 knots swept them away in the direction of Glen Beach.

Christoph Mueller, 34, a German citizen who has been in the country since January and is currently doing his master's degree in international trade at the University of the Western Cape, saw the men were in trouble and rushed to help them.

Struggling

"I sat on the beach when I saw how they were struggling in the water. I ran into the water and swam around a big rock to reach them.

"It was very difficult because the sea was powerful and the wind was very strong," said Mueller.

"When I reached him (Mhlafu), he was lying on his stomach in the water. I turned him around and swam with him to the rocks.

"He wasn't breathing."

Mueller struggled to reach the rocks but once he did, he pulled Mhlafu out of the sea.

"Foam was coming out of his mouth and he started breathing."

Two people came to help Mueller, who was shaking and full of scratches and bruises, and informed the authorities of the incident.

Mhlangu and Mokhua were able to get out of the water themselves.

Mhlafu was taken to Somerset Hospital. He is in a serious but stable condition.

- Were you there? Send us your eyewitness accounts
Read more on:    cape town  |  search and rescue  |  drownings
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