Teen safe after dramatic rescue at Camps Bay beach

2015-01-19 21:34

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Cape Town – A Johannesburg teen was rescued after being  swept out to sea at Camps Bay beach while flying a large kite on Monday, NSRI reported.

Shane Keenan, 18, was swept about 200m off-shore when he tried to recover his kite, which was blown away by strong winds.

National Sea rescue Institute (NSRI) spokesperson Craig Lambinon said: “Lifeguards had reached the teenager, but were forced to abort the rescue attempt to swim back to shore without him.”

He said the wind had carried the teen close to the rocky area near Maidens Cove due to 3.5m waves the NSRI team could not get close enough.

NSRI deputy station commander Johnny Alberts said: "The sea conditions were horrendous, and realising that in the breaking surf the sea rescue craft would be in grave danger if attempts were made to try to reach the teenager, and that putting a rescue swimmer into the water would put the swimmer's life at risk."

Keenan was then told to swim towards the rescue craft, but the scared teen did not respond to NSRI’s requests.

Alberts said the teen had shouted to the team that he could not swim. "When there was a lull in the waves, the rescue craft managed to get close to the teenage."

The later found that the Keenan has unable to swim because he was anchored to the sea bed by his large kite.

After fighting the waves and persisting winds, the team finally managed to get hold of the teen.

"While heading back towards the sea rescue base at Bakoven the sea rescue crew started to cut rope free that was entangled around the teenagers legs while medical treatment for severe hypothermia and near drowning symptoms, exhaustion and shock commenced," Lambinon said.

It appears that when the Keenan reached his kite, rope from the kite had entangled around his legs and in the strong surf conditions and the gale force winds the kite had drifted and was blown into Maidens Cove with the teenager trailing along behind the kite and entrapped in the rope cords.

The teen was transported to hospital by ER24 ambulance in a serious but stable condition and he is expected to fully recover.

Read more on:    er24  |  nsri  |  cape town  |  search and rescue

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