Brave man rescues drowning teenager

2019-09-30 16:12
Tyrone West was left with bruises after rescuing a drowning teenager at Salt Rock beach at the weekend.PHOTO: nompilo kunene

Tyrone West was left with bruises after rescuing a drowning teenager at Salt Rock beach at the weekend.PHOTO: nompilo kunene

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An Ashburton man was left with several cuts and bruises on his body after he was injured while rescuing a drowning teenage girl at Salt Rock beach, near Ballito, at the weekend.

An eyewitness told The Witness that Tyrone West (23) had shown bravery when he jumped into the sea to save the unnamed 17-year-old girl.

“The girl got swept into the water by a wave and was pulled out to sea. She got into difficulty swimming and a man jumped in to try help her but he too began to drown.”

The eyewitness said that was when West heard the commotion and ran to see what was happening. “Onlookers told him what had happened, and he bravely jumped into the water to help,” she said.

West, who was at the beach with friends, told The Witness he did not hesitate to help.

“I didn’t even think twice, I just ran into the water hoping that I would get there in time and save the person ...

“When I was swimming towards the girl, the man who had tried to go help her had also started drowning but he managed to get back onto the beach. I got to the girl and flipped her onto her back and swam towards the shore, but the currents were too strong,” said West.

He said a lifeguard came to take the girl from him and that’s when the current swept him towards the rocks.

West said at first the girl had no pulse but after CPR was performed by the lifeguard and other bystanders, they got a strong pulse from her. She was then airlifted to hospital.

West, who is a real estate agent at Natal Property, said he has had no professional swimming or lifeguard training.

The young man is now nursing several scratches and bruises on his body and also has stitches on his left hand.

“I am just glad that she is recovering in hospital; my bruises will heal eventually,” said West.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  drowning
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