Several Good Samaritans saved two young boys while on holiday Wilderness, Garden Route
Over the weekend, several Good Samaritans worked to save two children from a rip current that had formed on Leentjiesklip Beach in Wilderness on the Garden Route. Mike Vonk, NSRI Wilderness station commander, shared how the Good Samaritans made use of body boards and two NSRI Pink Buoys to aid in the rescue of the children from New Zealand. Vonk said, “On Friday, 7 October 2022 at 13h20, a member of the public contacted the NSRI Wilderness duty phone concerned that two children were potentially swimming in a dangerous area at Leentjiesklip Beach in Wilderness. NSRI rescue crew were immediately put on standby when a minute later a second caller phoned to report that the two children were being swept out to sea in a rip current and it appeared that their father was swimming in their direction to try to rescue them.”
“NSRI rescue swimmers and NSRI medics were dispatched to the scene directly while NSRI crew responded to our NSRI Wilderness rescue station to prepare the NSRI rescue craft Ann Stratford to be launched. Western Cape Government Health EMS ambulance and rescue unit and George Fire and Rescue Services also responded to the scene”, added Vonk.
“A family from New Zealand, originally from Bloemfontein, were on holiday on the Garden Route and they were on their way to Knysna when they stopped for a swim at Leentjieklip Beach. While swimming, the two boys of the family, aged 10 years and 13 years, had been pulled out in a rip current. Their dad had rushed into the water to swim after them to attempt to rescue them and he also got into trouble in the rough sea conditions”, said Vonk.
He added, “Divan Prinsloo, aged 34, from Pretoria, was on the beach with his own family and he witnessed the two boys and their father being pulled out by the rip current. He immediately grabbed his child’s body board and he launched into the water to assist. On reaching the family the four of them hung onto the body board, for flotation, while being pulled further out to sea. Divan realised that they would not be able to swim back on their own and would need to wait for assistance to be rescued. He tried to reassure the distressed boys, encouraging them to keep holding onto the body board and kicking together with each wave that washed over them.”
“Divan’s wife, Charice aged 32, had grabbed the NSRI pink rescue buoy and was appealing for someone on the beach to assist her husband and children. Coenraad, aged 39 from Pretoria who was on holiday visiting his sister who lives in a house overlooking Leentjiesklip beach, on hearing the calls for help, he looked out and saw the commotion and he ran down to the beach where grabbed the pink rescue buoy from Charice and he launched into the water. On reaching the casualties, he and Divan devised a plan to get to shore, which was actioned.”
“Using the pink rescue buoy Coenraad swam the 13-year-old boy back to shore, while Divan together with the father and the 10-year-old boy were able to use the body board to get back to shore. Meanwhile a group of four men, who were working on a building site overlooking the beach, were watching the events unfold and they also ran down to the beach. One of the workers, a 21-year-old man, grabbed an NSRI pink rescue buoy and entered the water to assist. Unfortunately he was pulled out to sea by the strong current and he went past the casualties, who were at that stage gradually getting closer to the shore but despite going further out to sea he was able to keep himself afloat using the pink rescue buoy.”
“On the first NSRI rescue swimmer arriving on the scene, he quickly assessed the situation and given the distance that the 21-year-old casualty had been swept out and the distance he was from the shore the rescue swimmer communicated to the responding resources that he was entering the water to go after the 21-year-old but that additional resources were urgently required. He was also not sure whether there were any other casualties still in the water.”
“The NSRI rescue swimmer reached the 21-year-old man, who had the pink rescue buoy and the NSRI rescue swimmer was able to swim him back to shore. NSRI medics who had responded to scene were subsequently joined by NSRI crew who had responded by boat and they provided emergency medical treatment to the 10-year-old boy and to the 21-year Good Samaritan.”
“The 14-year-old boy and his father, although shocked by experience, they did not require any medical treatment. The two injured casualties were taken into the care of EMS paramedics and after further medical assessment it was determined that they would not require hospitalisation.”
NSRI commend everyone involved in this incident, in particular the Good Samaritans who took the two Pink Rescue Buoys and the body board for flotation, they contributed to lives being saved.
Source: National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI)