‘The feeling when you save someone’s life can’t be described’

2014-07-23 00:00

FOUR heroes who braved rough waves to rescue two men stranded at sea will be recognised for their bold efforts this Friday.

The Amanzimtoti lifeguards, who were off duty at the time of the rescue, will be honoured at Lifesaving South Africa’s annual Bravery Awards, to be held in Durban on Friday.

A total of 10 awards will be given to recipients stemming from a variety of water-related rescues across the country.

In April this year when the incident occured, Pierre van Niekerk (22) said even though they were not on duty on that day, they had just stopped to “check out the waves”.

“We were there for about five minutes when we noticed the two men in distress. We immediately got in, I swam to the guy who was five metres further in the surf and put him on my board,” Van Niekerk said.

While he paddled the man to shore, Martin Fourie (21), also to be honoured at the ceremony, saved the other distressed man.

Lifeguard Hannes Smith assisted Fourie, while Wessel Pieterse directed them to the shore.

“That feeling when you save someone’s life can’t be described.

“You just feel like you’re doing something right with your life,” Van Niekerk said.

Fourie said that he was excited about the awards even though he had been a lifeguard for eight years.

“It’s really nice to know that we will be recognised, especially since we have been doing it for the pure passion.”

Another award will be given to Thembinkosi Thusi, who saved two young girls caught in flood waters in the Luganda settlement, near Mariannhill.

Heavy rains and flash floods hit the area in October last year.

The awards dinner will be held at the Blue Waters Hotel in Durban and starts at 7 pm.

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