Sea accidents increase with the influx of beach-goers

2013-12-24 00:00

SEA rescue volunteers have had their hands full with a spate of incidents along the east coast.

On Sunday, the National Sea Rescue Institute’s duty crew responded to assist a 23-year-old Pretoria man whose leg had been fractured by a boat he was trying to launch to sea at Silver Beach.

National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) spokesperson Craig Lambinon said that the man was treated on the scene before being transported to hospital.

At 9 am, a few hours after the first incident, duty officials responded to an incident at the same beach where a man sustained an injury after a fish hook penetrated through his hand.

“The incident happened at sea while fishing aboard the boat Pumbaa and they had brought the 34-year-old Port Edward man to shore where NSRI medics treated the wound. He went to hospital for further treatment by private transport,” Lambinon said.

In a third incident, an eight-year-old boy suffered a severe head injury after falling on rocks at the beach.

“The child was brought to the Sea Rescue Port Edward station and treated for a severe head injury. He was transported to hospital in a serious but stable condition,” Lambinon said.

In an incident in Port Alfred, the NSRI responded to West Beach where eyewitnesses reported a man being swept out to sea.

“The man had been swept out to sea by rip currents and a young unidentified male who had been body boarding nearby had rescued the man from the water, bringing him safely to the beach.

“On arrival at the scene, a 50-year-old Grahamstown man was found on the beach suffering near drowning symptoms. The man had been transported to hospital in a stable condition.”

Lambinon added that after the incidents on Sunday, there had not been any other serious rescue operations.

Meanwhile, Durban’s lifeguards say they are thankful for a quiet festive season so far.

Mike Wood, volunteer paramedic at the beach, said that they had seen a decrease in the number of visitors to the beach, but he was anticipating an influx of beach-goers on December 26 and January 1.

“We’ve been lucky that it has been this quiet so far, but we are concerned about the two big beach-going days,” he said.

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