NSRI St Francis Bay today rescued a 22 year-old Cape Town woman surfer, who was being swept out to sea after being caught in rip currents.
The surfer was caught in between two wave sets late afternoon at Granny’s Pool after her hair apparently got caught in her surfboard leash. This caused her to be dunked underwater during a wave set and then swept out to sea by the current.
NSRI St Francis Bay was activated just after 4 pm, following reports of a drowning in progress and a surfer drifting off-shore towards Anne Avenue.
Sara Jane Smith, NSRI St Francis Bay station commander, said the NSRI volunteer sea rescue duty crew launched its rescue craft, Spirit of St Francis II, and NSRI rescue swimmers responded to the scene.
The crew negotiated 4 meter swells in breaking and dumping wave sets to reach the surfer, who was found in severe distress. She was quickly rescued on to the sea rescue craft, which was then negotiated out of the wave sets and the surfer was brought safely to shore.
She was assessed for non-fatal drowning symptoms and did not require immediate medical attention, but would consult a doctor if these symptoms developed later.
NSRI H/O commended NSRI St Francis Bay coast watchers and the eye-witnesses who called in, plus the swift response of the local rescue crew members, who ventured into the big breaking wave sets in the surf line on the rescue craft to recover the woman in trying conditions.