Cape Town - A German kite-surfer narrowly escaped drowning on Cape Town's west coast after he was knocked unconscious. Fortunately, his friends and rescuers were on hand to save him.
National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) spokesperson Chris Lambinon said the 52-year-old was training for a kite-surfing event with two friends on Friday afternoon when he was knocked unconscious off Eerste Steen beach in Blaauwberg, a popular spot for kite-surfers.
A local man on the beach raised the alarm with rescuers, who had been looking for a paddle surfer in distress after an earlier call that turned out to be a false alarm.
Meanwhile the unconscious kite-surfer's friends, also thought to be German, had found him lying face down in the water.
He was not breathing so, still in choppy seas, they started giving him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
He started breathing on his own again, but by then they were drifting, pushed by the high winds that attract the kite-surfers to that stretch of coastline.
He was falling in and out of consciousness when the NSRI craft found them.
They had already drifted 700 metres offshore of another beach, Derde Steen, by then.
The craft took him to the shore where paramedics began treatment.
He was then taken by the Skymed helicopter to hospital in a critical condition.
Lambinon said that by Saturday his condition had improved to stable and he was likely to emerge from the ordeal.
Lambinon commended the man's friends for helping him.