Mystery surfer helps save woman from drowning at Herolds Bay

An unidentified surfer has been commended for his bravery after he saved a 21-year-old woman who had been swept away by rip current at Herolds Bay near George on Friday.

National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) Wilderness station commander Garth Dominy said their rescue crew was activated following eyewitness reports of a drowning in progress at Herolds Bay.

"A man related to the woman who was being swept out to sea took the NSRI Pink Rescue buoy off its stand at the beach and instructed other bystanders to call NSRI.

"Armed with a pink rescue buoy, the man ran along rocks to attempt to reach his family member, who while swimming was caught in rip currents and was being swept out to sea.

"The man had earlier manged to swim out into the surf to assist the woman, but turned around and swam back to shore after he was not able to help because of rough sea conditions that threatened his own life," Dominy said.

READ | Lifeguard, 7, lauded for diving into action to save boy, 4, from drowning in pool

NSRI rescue swimmers responded to the scene, while a sea rescue craft was also launched.

Western Cape government Health EMS and ER24 ambulance services also responded.

"An unidentified surfer reached the female and placed her on his surfboard in the surfline. An NSRI rescue swimmer, who had entered the water to assist, reached them in the surfline and together they were able to get the woman to the shore safely.

"The woman was treated on the scene for hypothermia and non-fatal drowning symptoms by ER24 paramedics and required no further assistance following treatment," Dominy said.

The unidentified surfer was commended for his actions which contributed to saving the life of the woman, as well as bystanders who raised the alarm.

Meanwhile, NSRI confirmed that in a joint operation by NSRI Wilderness, police divers, fire and rescue services' rescue divers and the EMS/AMS Skymed rescue helicopter, they had recovered the body of a 58-year-old man.

The man, who is yet to be identified, went missing on Thursday at the Gwaing River after falling from rocks into the sea while fishing with a friend. 

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