American surfer narrowly escapes from rip currents in Wilderness


An American surfer, who lost his surfboard in the surf line and was being swept out to sea in rip currents today, managed to break free and get to shore.

The 35 year-old American from Pennsylvania was suffering from near drowning symptoms and was helped to the beach by waders and his wife in a semi-conscious state.

Torsten Henschel, NSRI Wilderness deputy station commander, said at 3 pm today, 23rd June, NSRI Wilderness duty crew were activated following reports of a surfer in difficulty off-shore of Leentjiesklip, Wilderness. Sea conditions were 2 to 3 meter swells.

The NSRI volunteer duty crew prepared to launch their sea craft and NSRI rescue swimmers responded directly to the scene. Eye witnesses said the man become separated from his surfboard and was being swept out to sea in rip currents. He managed to get to near shore where bystanders assisted him.

George Traffic Services, George Fire and Rescue Services, WC Government Health EMS and ER24 ambulance services also went to the scene.  Medical treatment and oxygen therapy were initiated by NSRI medics at first and then  the paramedics took over.

The American was transported to hospital by ambulance a stable condition.

The United States Consulate was alerted to the incident.


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