Man braves waves to save small child

2016-10-04 06:00
Vernon Steer (55) near the scene where he saved a young boy from a rip current last week.  PHOTO: Gary van Dyk

Vernon Steer (55) near the scene where he saved a young boy from a rip current last week. PHOTO: Gary van Dyk

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With the attentions of a crowded beach on two men who were swept out to sea, few people saw a second boy in trouble closer to the shore.

On Sunday 25 September, the warmer weather attracted a flood of beach goers to the city’s shoreline.

After a long day at work, Vernon Steer (55) did not feel like going to the beach that day, but after a request from his fiancée Leona Lewis, they made their way to Mnandi Beach. A woman approached them speaking of two men who she had seen swimming at the back who she could no longer see (see page 3). “Everyone was focussed on these two men and in the meantime on the other side a little boy was pulled in by the current. The current was very very strong and I remember thinking wow this child is in trouble here.”

He ran into the sea to save the little boy. With no survival training or rescue training, he says his instincts took over. “I really don’t know (what made me do it) but I can tell you I wasn’t affraid of anything, I just had to save this boy. I was so concerned about him because my brother also lost his son at Camps Bay Beach,” he says.

The is believed to be seven or eight-years-old. Lewis and Steer don’t believe the incident was reported.

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