Drownings, rescue efforts all in a day's work for NSRI

Durban – Western Cape oceans had claimed two lives and seriously injured two others since Sunday, the National Sea Rescue Institute reported on Tuesday.

In a statement, NSRI spokesperson Craig Lambinon said that on Sunday, officials attended to reports of a "mass drowning in progress" in Langebaan.

"NSRI Mykonos duty crew launched sea rescue craft and dispatched rescue swimmers to the jetty at the SA National Parks offices on Langebaan Lagoon. Two adults and two children from Malmesbury got into difficulty while swimming when they were caught in an outgoing tide."

A military officer threw in a life-buoy attached to a rope and rescued two children and one adult from the water, Lambinon said. When the NSRI crew arrived on the scene, they continued the search for a 41-year-old man who had disappeared under water.

"A police dive unit joined in the search. The body of the man was located and recovered and declared deceased by paramedics."

The second death was reported on Monday in Kogel Bay when the NSRI Gordons Bay duty crew rushed to Dappat se Gat, following reports of a drowning in progress.

According to Lambinon, a 27-year-old man from Kuils River got caught in a rip current and a 21-year-old man, also from Kuils River, tried to rescue him. The good Samaritan however also got into difficulty.

"NSRI Gordons Bay launched a sea rescue craft and dispatched rescue swimmers to the scene. The 27-year-old man was able to find a sand bar and managed to get out of the water safely. Lifeguards rescued the 21-year-old man from the water and commenced CPR efforts till paramedics took over, but sadly he was declared dead on the scene."

Serious injuries

A Hout Bay fisherman also suffered serious injuries on Monday after he was reportedly trapped in a rope and a winch machine on board the Hout Bay fishing trawler Christo Rei, 30 nautical miles south-west of Slangkop Lighthouse.

According to Lambinon, an EMS doctor provided medical advice to the ship’s captain and crew in an effort to stabilise the patient.

A South African Air Force helicopter carried NSRI rescue swimmers and EMS paramedics to the fishing trawler. The fishing crew confirmed they had managed to cut the man free, but said he was in a critical condition, Lambinon said. 

A duty doctor relayed medical advice while a rescue team responded.

The rescue team were winch-hoisted aboard the trawler and they treated the patient for a partially amputated right arm, multiple fractures to his right arm and suspected fractures to both legs and suspected rib fractures.

The patient was hoisted into the helicopter with the two rescuers and treatment continued on board the helicopter on the way to Groote Schuur Hospital, in an effort to stabilise the critically injured patient.

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