Three marooned near George rescued by NSRI

Three people trapped by high tides were rescued by NSRI Wilderness yesterday evening after their cries for help were heard.

Errol Duitsjan, 53, his son Shonnold, 13, and a friend Ronaldo de Klerk, 7, all from Pacaltsdorp, near George,  were stranded on a rock in front of the Blue Whale Resort, cut off by the Spring high tide. 

Hennie Niehaus, NSRI Wilderness station commander, said at 6.33 pm,  4 July, NSRI Wilderness volunteer duty crew were activated and dispatched an NSRI rescue swimmer to the scene. It was apparent that it would be 4-6 hours before the next low tide to be able to walk the trapped trio across.

“NSRI Wilderness duty crew and WC Government Health EMS responded to the scene. Owing to the delay and that there were children involved, it was decided to take them all off the rock as quickly as possible,” Niehaus said.

A rescue swimmer made his way through the surf to the rock, carrying throw lines. He found the trio safe but the beginning stages of hypothermia were setting in. The three had been cut off from mainland while fishing from the rock,  not realising the high tide would cut them off from mainland.

In relays one at a time, all three were brought safely across through the surf by the swimmer. He used a throw line rope as a precaution against being swept away. In each relay the 2 to 3 meter swells were timed and the trio were brought safely through the surf during a calm lull between wave sets.

All three were treated for hypothermia and required no further assistance.



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