Two young kids saved from drowning at Clifton Beach

-Edited by Bev Mortimer- Two young boys, who got into difficulty after being swept out to sea in rip currents while swimming at Clifton Beach, Cape Town, were saved from drowning by good Samaritans and NSRI crew from Bakoven and Table View.

Photo: of NSRI Bakoven volunteer duty crew

The children got into difficulty after being swept out to sea in rip currents while swimming. The NSRI Bakoven received multiple calls by from eye witnesses and raced to the rescue.

Alex Elcock, a resident at Clifton 1st Beach, stayed on the line with NSRI EOC (Emergency Operations Centre) controllers, relaying critical information updating NSRI EOC. Her husband, Andrew, one of the Good Samaritans, had launched into the surf to assist the boys.

The NSRI Bakoven and NSRI Table Bay Rescue Swimmers, CoCT Law Enforcement officers and off-duty Clifton lifeguards responded directly to the scene and all emergency services , including NWC Government Health EMS Metro Control, who dispatched Generic Paramedics ambulance services to the beach.

The NSRI also launched its rescue craft, Gemini Legend, and two NSRI rescue swimmers were launched into the sea.

At that stage the 10 year-old boy had been assisted out of the water by a Good Samaritan bystanders and he was found safe on the beach.
Andrew reached the eight year old about about 20 meters off-shore, finding the child to be slipping under water and in severe distress, caught in a strong rip current and being dunked under the incoming waves.

Andrew held onto the child, and being a regular swimmer at Clifton, he rode the rip current out to sea, holding onto the child, while coaching the child to tread water, to stay afloat.

As each wave approached Andrew coached the boy on how to take a deep breath, to dunk under the wave and then Andrew also dunked him under an incoming wave holding onto him, preventing him being caught in the tail wash of each wave.
Andrew commended the bravery of the child, who did not panic .

The NSRI rescue swimmers reached Andrew and the young boy about 200 meters off-shore. A rescue buoy was passed to the child to hold onto for flotation in the care of the NSRI rescue swimmers and Andrew.

Everyone was taken onboard the rescue craft where initial medical treatment for hypothermia was initiated to the boy. The boy was taken to NSRI Bakoven rescue station where further medical treatment for severe hypothermia continued. Andrew also needed to be warmed up from hypothermia.

Ambulance paramedics at the scene found the boy to in a satisfactory condition. They transported the mother, her 10 year-old and also her 5 year-old child who had not been in the water, to Bakoven.

On arrival at the NSRI Bakoven rescue station Generic paramedics assisted our NSRI medics in continuing medical treatment to the 8 year-old for non-fatal drowning symptoms and for severe hypothermia.
Once stabilised the boy , accompanied by his family, the Cameroon family from Bryanston, was transported to hospital in the Generic Paramedics ambulance, in the care of paramedics, in a serious but stable condition, where he was later released by hospital staff, requiring no further medical care.

Everyone involved, the emergency controllers, the emergency resources, the Good Samaritans, the eye-witnesses and bystanders who are all commended for their swift actions that averted a potential tragedy. The Cameroon family expressed their heartfelt deep gratitude for the combined efforts of everyone involved.


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