Three women tourists who were being swept out to sea by a strong rip current at Hermanus yesterday managed to reach shore safely.
The women, a 56 year-old Australian and two girls from Botswana aged 18 and 19, were on Kleinmond beach in front of Kleinmond restaurant, Sundown Blues .
This was after a restaurant owner Paul Richards ran to the beach from where he gestured and shouted at the women, 200 metres out to sea, to swim parallel to the beach front. Having knowledge of the rip currents pattern in the area he was able to indicated to them which way to swim to free themselves of the current. They heeded his instructions and all three were able to get back to the beach safely without assistance.
At 12h31, Thursday, 15th October, NSRI Hermanus duty crew were activated by the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) following reports from eye-witness Paul Richards, owner of the Kleinmond restaurant Sundown Blues reporting three females being swept out to sea by rip currents at Kleinmond beach.
NSRI Hermanus station commander Deon Langenhoven happened to be in Kleinmond at the time and responded while the NSRI Hermanus duty crew responded towing a sea rescue craft and the WC Government Health EMS, Overberg Fire and Rescue Services and the SA Police Services responded.
Restaurant owner Paul Richards ran to the beach, by that stage the 3 females were already at least 200 meters out to sea and he gestured and shouted to them to swim across the beach front.
With local knowledge of the rip currents pattern in the area he indicated to them which way to swim to get free of the rip current.
They heeded his instructions and all got back to to the beach without assistance. Paramedics attended to them and found that although tired and shocked they did not need medical treatment.
The NSRI commended Richards is commended for his swift actions.
NSRI believes the trio were caught in the New Moon Spring Tide rip currents.
The NSRI also warns that tide peaked on 13 October and strong rip currents will be experienced around the coast until after this weekend.
(Edited by Bev Mortimer)