Boy critical after near drowning at Oyster Bay

NSRI STATION 21 - St Francis Bay

Richard Kettledas, left, and NSRI Oyster Bay commander Lodewyk van Rensburg –  Image: NSRI


NSRI Oyster Bay duty crew was activated early afternoon on Monday (13th) to investigate reports, from an NSRI coast watcher of children launching into the surf with the NSRI Pink Rescue Buoy. Concerned as to why the buoy was being used he alerted NSRI.

Station Commander Lodewyk van Rensburg happened to be nearby and immediately proceeded to main beach and immediately established that a group of seven local males (three teenagers, three children, and an adult, their uncle) had been caught in rip currents while swimming.

Three of the children and one of the teenagers were not too deep and had managed to escape the rip and get to shore safely. The other two teenagers, both aged 14, had however been swept out to sea.

The uncle, Ricardo Kettledas, had instructed the children to go and grab the pink buoy for him and he launched into the surf with the pink buoy. He was able to rescue one of the teenagers and bring the now unconscious boy ashore showing signs of non-fatal drowning.

When van Rensburg arrived at the scene he placed the rescued boy in the recovery position but discovered the other boy was still missing in the surf.

Knowing that additional sea rescue crew were due on the scene within minutes van Rensburg left the teenager in the recovery position in the care of the other boys and he, with Kettledas, launched into the surf. At the backline they were able to reach the remaining teenager who was lifeless in the water.

Kettledas still had the pink rescue buoy with him, and assisted by the pink rescue buoy the teenager was brought to shore. Once on land van Rensburg immediately commenced with CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) efforts on the boy who was not breathing and had no pulse.

Private Care ambulance services had already been activated and the NSRI duty crew arrived on the scene and a pulse and spontaneous breathing was restored during CPR efforts and the teenager was taken into the care of paramedics . He and the first teenager were transported to hospital by Private Care ambulance with both boys in a serious condition. The first boy is recovering but the second at time of publishing was still in ICU in a Port Elizabeth hospital in a serious condition.

NSRI commend Ricardo Kettledas, 29, for his assistance.


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Skiing Accident on the Kromme

NSRI STATION 21 - St Francis Bay

NSRI St Francis Bay duty crew was called into action on Sunday evening following a request for assistance from an NSRI Oyster Bay crewman, on the Kromme River in his private boat, reporting a teenager injured while water-skiing on a knee-board on the river four kilometers upstream.

The NSRI Oyster Bay crewman, Marc Mans, had witnessed the accident and using his private boat had gone to the aid of the male teenager and alerted NSRI St Francis Bay.

Marc had secured the teenager onto a board, removing him from the water, and taking him onboard his boat. The teenager was then taken to Marc’s housing complex where NSRI St Francis Bay medics and Private Care ambulance services rendezvoused with them. From there the teenager was taken into the care of paramedics and he was been transported to hospital by Private Care ambulance in a stable condition, accompanied by his dad


ROONEY. The St Francis Bay village legend

have your say on St Francis Today

Touching article by Sheena R Ruth also posted on Facebook

Let’s celebrate the canine characters of our village. Who remembers Rooney, the dog who belonged to all of us in St Francis Bay. A village roamer, who would not be confined. A big friendly brute, part German Shepherd, part Sheep Dog, part Labrador, part anything big canine, with the most magnificent tail, that probably emanated, genetically, from a Retriever.

He would invite himself to any occasion, walk or hangout with anyone on the beach or in the village. If he eyed a person or people that he thought looked particularly in need of his company, he would even swim the canal to grace them with his company.

I first met this legend in 2009, on the beach at the spit. I was walking, with my boyfriend, the beach to ourselves, in awe of a southern right whale, moving along in the water, at what seemed to be the same pace as us. Suddenly, we found ourselves in the company of Rooney. Every time we stopped to watch the whale, he would stop too. And sit. If the waves obscured his view, he would stand on his hind legs to get a better sighting. I truly felt, that there was some kind of magic around us that day. Us, Rooney, the beach to ourselves, and a whale. I’ve never forgotten it.

Rooney belonged to the Robertson’s and lived in Spray Avenue. There were often people on the search for this escape artist, who wasn’t escaping at all, just living his very best life! He could often be found up on the thatch roof, surveying his domain (which was, of course, the whole of the village).

In the “great fire” Rooney’s parent’s home was lost. Rooney was given refuge by his two of his favourites, Jenny and Ken Wiggins, with whom he has lived ever since. Sometimes to be found, meandering the Shore Road estuary. Still with us. Magnificent in his old age, with that tail that belonged to a Retriever.

Do you have any experiences with Rooney? Or any photographs? It would be so lovely to honour this magnificent village legend.


Boat capsizes off Kromme and spear fishermen have a shark encounter

Ski Boat capsizes off Kromme mouth and two spear fishermen have encounter with a shark off Wild Side

NSRI St Francis Bay duty crew were activated early on Monday following reports of a boat capsized with seven people onboard, including children, all wearing life-jackets, at the mouth of the Kromme River.

The sea rescue craft Spirit of St Francis II was launched and NSRI crew responded directly to the scene and found that all seven were safely ashore by the time NSRI arrived.

One girl was treated for an arm injury and a slight laceration to the head and she was taken to a local doctor for further medical care.

The remaining six crew were not injured.

They are regular visitors on holiday from up-country and not being familiar with the changes in the estuary it appears that they hit a sand bank that possibly contributed to the boat capsizing

Assisted by members of the public NSRI righted and recovered the capsized boat and we commend the public members who helped.

In a rather scary incident off the Wild Side, Cape St Francis last Saturday (4th January)  two spear fishermen diving in a gulley about 250m offshore, had an encounter with what is thought to have been a great white shark.  They had four bonitos on a stringer when the shark swooped in and took their bounty which was attached a buoy and to Juan Moore’s speargun. Moore was dragged several metres before he was able to release his spear gun.

Neither diver was injured and they swam ashore no worse for wear from their experience.

 A smaller great white had been seen in the area the previous day as well a few Bronze Whalers and there is a fair amount of fish around at the moment, an obvious attraction to sharks.

There has been a fair amount of shark activity including an incident with two ski paddlers off Oyster Bay  a couple of weeks back as well as the incident off Nahoon Beach in East London where a paddler competing in an event had his ski damaged by a great white that left a 40cm hole in his craft.  In another incident  at nearby Nature’s Valley also just before Christmas and reported by SFT a  spear fisherman was also dragged by a shark after spearing a mussel cracker which the shark found to be a delectable entree.

Looking back at Cape St Francis Lighthouse from the Wild Side. Photo by Martin Barbour