Couple survive hour in cold water after rubber duck capsized

2017-04-02 22:14
A man was rescued after he was trapped by the high tide on rocks. (Supplied)

A man was rescued after he was trapped by the high tide on rocks. (Supplied)

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Cape Town – A couple who has been living in Port Elizabeth for three years was extremely relieved to be united after their rubber duck capsized on Sunday morning and they were separated in the surf, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) said.

Deon and Antoinette Human, aged 42 and 38, had decided to do some sightseeing at the wreck of the vessel Pattie, off shore of Cape Recife Lighthouse, said NSRI spokesperson Craig Lambinon.

They were on top of the wreck at about 11:00 when their boat was swamped by a wave that threw them off each side of the vessel.

“They were unable to get back to the boat which was swept away by currents and Deon shouted to his wife to swim for the shoreline before they became separated from each other,” said Lambinon.

“It appears that they may have been in the surf for well over an hour before reaching the shore but anxious from not knowing what had become of each other.”

Rescue crew had received a report from a private fishing boat of an upturned hull.

On arrival they found Antoinette, who had asked bystanders to phone the NSRI, not knowing the alarm had already been raised. She confirmed she had swum ashore but her husband was missing.

NSRI treated her for hypothermia.


During a search along the shoreline, Deon was found trapped by the high tide on rocks near the lighthouse.

Two rescue swimmers came to his assistance.

He was extremely distressed about the whereabouts of his wife but was reassured, much to his relief, that she was safe, said Lambinon.

He was also treated for hypothermia.

The rubber duck was recovered from the water. The couple are originally from the East Rand in Johannesburg.

Lambinon urged boaters to be cautious offshore of the lighthouse, where a number a wrecks littered the coastline.

“The water depth at high tide can reach as much as 14 meters but drops to only a few meters at low tide causing a natural unpredictable breaking swell in that vicinity, caused by the geography of the coastline there and a danger to boaters.”

Read more on:    nsri  |  port elizabeth  |  drownings

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