Eastern Cape teens swim 100 meters into the sea to save drowning girl in Jeffreys Bay

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Lisa Stumpf, 19, Megan Johnson, 14, Abbygail Janse van Rensburg, 14, and Karla Stumpf, 19.
Lisa Stumpf, 19, Megan Johnson, 14, Abbygail Janse van Rensburg, 14, and Karla Stumpf, 19.
  • Four teenage girls prevented a drowning in Jeffreys Bay on Saturday.
  • The teens rescued another teenager who was being swept out to sea at Checkers Beach.
  • The NSRI, alerted by the teens, treated the victim for non-fatal drowning symptoms.

Four Jeffreys Bay teenagers saved the life of a girl who was being swept out to sea on Saturday.

Around 16:00, a 17-year-old girl and her brother, from Hankey, were swimming at Checkers Beach in Jeffreys Bay when they were caught by rip currents. The boy was able to make it safely back to shore, but his sister was swept out to sea, explains National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) spokesperson Craig Lambinon.

"Local girls Lisa Stumpf, 19, and Megan Johnson, 14, who were nearby, at the beach at the time, were approached by a lady frantically asking them for help - the lady was indicating that her son and her daughter were being swept out to sea and they were in danger in the surfline," said Lambinon.

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Lisa and Megan immediately alerted their friend Abbygail Janse van Rensburg, 14, and Lisa's twin sister Karla Stumpf, 19.

"Between them, the girls raised the alarm alerting NSRI and the emergency services," said Lambinon.

"The four local girls knew that they needed to act fast… so Lisa handed Abbygail a body-board to be used for floatation instead of running the hundred meters down the beach to fetch the NSRI pink rescue buoy that is stationed on that beach."


Karla put on a pair of flippers, and together with Abbygail, swam 100 meters out to sea through the surf to reach the girl caught up in the rip currents. They used the body-board for flotation and guided the drowning girl through the breaking surf safely to the beach.

"At that stage NSRI Jeffreys Bay crew and paramedics were arriving at the beach and the casualty girl was medically assessed by paramedics," said Lambinon.

"The casualty teenager was showing signs and symptoms of a non-fatal drowning and she was treated by paramedics in an ambulance."

Following medical treatment, the girl was released and required no further assistance.

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