Maverick Citizen


Port Edward beachgoers form human chain to help save man caught in riptide

Port Edward beachgoers form human chain to help save man caught in riptide
Illustrative image: (Photo: Flickr | Gallo Images / Misha Jordaan | iStock)

Three beachgoers used the organisation’s Pink Rescue Buoys at Glenmore Beach, Port Edward, to save a man caught in a strong riptide. They were helped by more beachgoers forming a human chain to assist them in getting the man out of the water.

‘A remarkable effort.” This was how the National Sea Rescue Institute’s (NSRI) Craig Lambinon described the efforts of three rescue swimmers and at least 50 beachgoers to save the life of a young man who almost drowned when he was caught in a strong rip current.

The incident happened around 3pm on Thursday, 30 November, at Glenmore Beach, Port Edward.

Lifeguards will be deployed daily at this beach only from 15 December.

port edward beach rescue

Beachgoers formed a human chain to assist off-duty lifeguards to save a swimmer caught in a strong riptide. (Photo: Supplied)

The secretary of the Umtamvuna Surf Lifesaving Club, Terri Burger, said Glenmore Beach was a good swimming beach but did at times have a strong rip current that could be dangerous if you were not a strong swimmer.

“What happened here was phenomenal,” she said.

She said lifeguards were deployed at the beach only on weekends. 

“It was a sunny day on Thursday. Summer has come late this year. But there were many people out on the beach,” she said.

Read more in Daily Maverick: How safe are South Africa’s popular holiday beaches ahead of the festive season?

Lambinon said the NSRI Port Edward duty crew were activated around 3pm with reports of a drowning in progress at Glenmore Beach after a 20-year-old man got into difficulties.

“Bystanders have gone beyond the extra mile,” he said.

The rescue efforts were caught on video from the nearby fishing club.

He said a 20-year-old and a 16-year-old who were at the beach launched into the surf with the NSRI’s Pink Rescue Buoys and were joined later by a former lifeguard who came to assist them.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Pink is for buoys – the importance of water safety protection

“As they brought the man to the beach through the surf line, beachgoers formed a human chain from the beach into the water to help get the man out of the water,” Lambinon said.

“This is highly commended.”

He said the Pink Rescue Buoys had saved 166 lives “that we know of” since they were introduced in 2017.

Lambinon added that all the rescues had been successful and no harm had come to any of the rescuers. 

The man was treated for non-fatal drowning symptoms and taken to hospital, but was later discharged. DM


Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Rory Macnamara says:

    Now that is what Sout Africa and its people are about – they care. well done to all.
    now if only the politicians showed they cared!!!!a start would be to give us all our money back.

  • Rod H MacLeod says:

    Perhaps a kind mention of the truly GREAT work that the NSRI does would be in order. How many of your readers know that the thousands of Pink Buoys distributed around the country are the work of the NSRI, a volunteer organisation and not our self-absorbed government? And do your readers know that, unfortunately, due to ignorance and vandalism, many of these are vandalised or stolen, where they could be used to save lives as in this instance here? A little PR help for the NSRI would go a long way …

    • Richard Baker says:

      Well said Rod-taken for granted when they’re there but sorely missed when they’re not! Big kudos for the team this week despite not being officially on duty. Help from the by-standers was amazing. Good luck to all over the festive season!!

  • Karin Bloem says:

    Very encouraging to read such a positive report of South Africans coming to the rescue of a drowning man.
    Please note that Glenmore Beach is in Glenmore, not Port Edward, which has its own beautiful beach, but is situated further down the coast, past Leisure Bay. All in the County of Munster.

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