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