Quick thinking saves Cape Town teen from drowning

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NSRI vehicles.
NSRI vehicles.
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  • Quick thinking saved the life of a teenager who had fallen off the rocks at Bakoven, Cape Town. 
  • An off-duty lifeguard saw the girl in distress and sprang into action. 
  • Two men sitting nearby jumped in and started swimming her to shore. 

Quick thinking saved the life of a teenager who fell of the rocks into the sea at Bakoven in Cape Town on Sunday.

The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) said off-duty Clifton lifesaving guard Tyra-Lee Penney, 16, from Claremont, spotted this, and contacted the NSRI Bakoven emergency phone to call for help. 

David Rosenberg, NSRI Bakoven deputy station commander, said the girl was being swept in between the rocks by rough sea swells. 

The NSRI Bakoven crew, police and Camps Bay Security responded, with Community Medics and ER24 ambulance services placed on alert.

Penney was instructed to keep eyes on the girl and fetch the NSRI pink rescue buoy and throw it at the girl. 

Her boyfriend, Ethan Klerck, 16, from Rondebosch, ran to the scene to keep his eyes on the casualty.

Two bystanders Wihan Koegelenberg, 23, from Paarl, and Kyle Feldman, 24, from Durbanville, were sitting on the rocks with their girlfriends when they were alerted to the crisis. 

"They both ran to the area where they saw a female struggling in the rough seas in between rocks, and her boyfriend was attempting to assist her, but he was being hampered by the slippery rocks and rough seas," Rosenberg said.  

"Wihan and Kyle both entered the water, and they were able to reach the girl and began to swim her towards the rocks."

Klerck threw the NSRI pink rescue buoy to them, and between them, the group managed to get the girl out of the water as the NSRI Bakoven crew arrived. 

The girl and her boyfriend were treated for hypothermia, bruises, and lacerations and were discharged to family members who had been contacted to come to fetch them.

Wihan and Kyle sustained scrapes, cuts and bruises during the rescue. NSRI commended the swift response and combined efforts of the group that saved the teenager. 

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