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.