Paddler rescued after Kayak swept out to sea in rip currents
NSRI Hermanus swimmers rescued a man swept out to sea with his friend after their kayak swept out to sea in rip currents and then capsized today, 24 August.
The incident happened at Fisherhaven lagoon mouth when two men from Pinelands in a double kayak were sucked out of the lagoon mouth into the wave line where the kayak capsized .
Deon Langenhoven, NSRI Hermanus deputy station commander, said at 11.36 NSRI Hermanus volunteer duty crew were activated about the plight of the two men swept out in the Spring tide. One of the paddlers, Gareth Woods, 34, managed to get to shore and was helped out of the water by law enforcement officers. Despite some mild hypothermia he was uninjured. The other paddler, Paul van Rensburg, 35, was swept out to sea beyond the breaker line.
“We dispatched our rescue swimmers. Our sea rescue craft was towed to the scene, the Red Cross AMS Skymed helicopter was activated and WC Government Health EMS and the SA Police Services responded to join law enforcement officers already on the scene.
On arrival at the shore van Rensburg, who was wearing a life-jacket, could be seen struggling against strong rip-currents beyond the breaker line in rough seas. “Prior to our sea rescue boat or Skymed’s arrival a current swept the man closer towards shore.
“When he was about 80 meters from the shore we dispatched two NSRI rescue swimmers, Josh Henn and Andre Barnard, to swim out to the man. They reached him and secured him but then a rip-current then swept all three further out to sea.
“The two rescuers managed to pull the paddler across the shore front until they were free of the rip-current. Then using the waves they managed to swim the casualty to shore where he was handed over to EMS paramedics.
“He was suffering exhaustion, hypothermia and near drowning symptoms and he was airlifted to hospital by Skymed in a serious but stable condition. “It is without a doubt that Paul van Rensburg’s life-jacket saved him from drowning. He is reportedly recovering well in hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.”
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