One teenager drowned and another minor was saved at the weekend at Muizenberg Beach in Cape Town, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) confirmed.
On Saturday, January 6, before 10am, a British national now living in Cape Town was surfing before he was approached by children appealing for assistance for their two friends.
“It appears that a British man, now living in Cape Town, Archie Moberly, was surfing at Muizenberg and after catching a wave and reaching the shallows, some children asked him to help their two male friends who were further out in the surf line,” NSRI spokesperson, Craig Lambinon said.
“Archie paddled towards them where they called out to him to help them, they were separated in the surf zone. Archie rescued a child, believed to be aged 12 or 13, onto his longboard and that child indicated to him where his teenage friend could be seen in distress in the surf zone,” he said.
“Archie left the child safe on his longboard and then swam towards the teenager who then disappeared underwater before Archie could reached him,” Lambinon said.
“Archie searched for the teenager but after finding no further sign of the teenager Archie retreated towards the beach, with the rescued child, where closer to the beach a lady helped him to get the child to the shore.”
He said at this time the alarmed was raised.
The City of Cape Town (CoCT) water rescue network was activated, following reports to NSRI Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) from the City’s 107 Control Room to a drowning in progress at the Zandvlei Estuary mouth, Muizenberg, in the surf line.
CoCT Muizenberg lifeguards dispatched a rescue jet-ski and lifeguards, from the Muizenberg lifeguard tower, with Malibu rescue boards.
CoCT Law Enforcement, the South African Police Services (SAPS), Western Cape Government Health EMS rescue squad, SAPS Water Policing and Dive Services (WPDS) and the EMS/AMS Skymed rescue helicopter responded.
“On arrival on the scene an air, sea and shoreline search, for a missing male teenager was launched. The teenager was spotted submerged under water, in the surf zone, from the EMS/AMS Skymed rescue helicopter,” Lambinon said.
“A Lifesaving South Africa (LSA) rescue swimmer was deployed from the Skymed rescue helicopter, into the surf zone, where the swimmer reached and recovered the teenager from underwater and he was joined on the scene, in the surf line, by CoCT lifeguards using Malibu rescue boards.”
He said together they got the teenager to shore where paramedics and lifeguards assisted in initiating cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) efforts.
“After extensive CPR efforts were exhausted, sadly, the teenager, age 16, from Makhaza, was declared deceased,” Lambinon said.
“The body of the deceased teenager was taken into the care of police and Government Health Forensic Pathology Services.”
Police have opened an inquest docket.
The boy who was rescued was fortunately not injured.
“NSRI, lifeguards, police, municipal beach authorities, and the emergency services are appealing to coastal bathers around the entire coastline to only swim where and when lifeguards are on duty, swim in between the safer demarcated swimming zones that lifeguards post using their red and yellow flags,” said Lambinon.
“The Good Samaritan, Archie Moberly, is commended for saving the life of the child that he rescued from the water.” –IOL
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