– Edited by Bev Mortimer
One man drowned, one was rescued and another reached the shore safely after three friends got into difficulty in the surf at Pelsrus beach, Jeffreys Bay, on Saturday, this past weekend.
The body of the deceased man was recovered from the surf by the SAPS yesterday.
Paul van Jaarsveld, NSRI Jeffreys Bay station commander, said NSRI Jeffreys Bay duty crew were activated at 1.41 pm on Saturday following reports of a drowning in progress at Pelsrus Beach.
Kouga lifeguards responded from the Main Beach and NSRI Jeffreys Bay launched the sea rescue craft Rescue, 37 Alpha. Others to respond included NSRI rescue swimmers, EC Government Health EMS, Kouga Fire and Rescue Services, the SA Police Services, Kouga Law Enforcement and Private Care ambulance services.
Lifeguards located one of the friends safely ashore and uninjured. Lifeguards launched into the surf and rescued another one of the three friends from the mid surf break. He required no medical attention.
The third friend remained missing in the surf and an extensive sea and shoreline search ensued. The search included NSRI rescue swimmers and Kouga lifeguards who were deployed in the water and who conducted sweeping line-free, dive search efforts.
However, there was no sign of the missing man.
A Police Dive Unit was alerted and on Sunday at 9.33 am NSRI Jeffreys Bay, Police, EC Government Health EMS, Kouga Fire and Rescue Services, Kouga Law Enforcement were at Pelsrus Beach following reports from Kouga lifeguards of a body located in shallow surf.
The body was taken into the care of Government Health Forensic Pathology Services.
Police opened an inquest docket and the NSRI conveyed condolences to the family. No names have been revealed by the SAPS and authorities