– Article by Bev Mortimer
A local St Francis surfer passed on, on Christmas Day afternoon after getting into difficulty in the surf at Seal Point, Cape St Francis.
Confirming the incident, the SAPS said, on 25 December, at about 4.30 pm, police were summoned to Cape St Francis beach after a 54 year-old man died during surfing.
“It is alleged by a witness that the man was surfing and moments later he was seen struggling in the water.”
He was removed from the water by a swimmer, who came to his rescue, the police said. “The man was declared dead at the scene. His name is being withheld until a formal identification is held. The police opened an inquest to investigate the cause of death.”
Sara Jane Smith, NSRI St Francis Bay station commander, related that the man washed up onto the rocks and was then rescued by other surfers and taken to shore where NSRI members, a local doctor, paramedics and lifeguards performed CPR. Despite extensive CPR to resuscitate the man, all efforts were eventually exhausted and the man was declared to be deceased.
The man’s body was taken into the care of Government Health Forensic Pathology Services. The SAPS opened an inquest docket
Smith said the local Station 21 NSRI volunteer duty crew members were activated at 4.20 pm following multiple calls received of a surfer appearing to be in difficulty in the surf.
NSRI rescue crew, an NSRI duty doctor, Private Care ambulance Services, EC Government Health EMS, Kouga Municipal Lifesaving lifeguards and the SA Police Services responded to the scene.
On behalf of all emergency services, the NSRI conveyed condolences to family and friends of the deceased man.
The NSRI also thanked the young surfers, who rescued the man and who brought him to shore, plus the lifeguards for their assistance at the scene and the efforts of the doctors, paramedics, plus all others involved, for their efforts.