Several near drowning in Plettenberg Bay
By Anele Siwa
09 January 2008
In a dramatic sea rescue this week, Mark Horsman from Grahamstown was assisted out of the surf after he was reported drowning on Tuesday afternoon at Natures Valley in Plettenberg Bay.
“A male boogie-boarder was reported being swept out to sea by strong currents and lifeguards and a surfer had launched to assist him,” says Ray Farnham, NSRI Plettenberg Bay Station Commander.
According to Farnham, NSRI Plettenberg Bay volunteers launched the rescue craft Ian Hepburn and Spirit of Engen, while local resident John Brown was activated aboard his Robertson 44 helicopter to act as a spotter for the rescue craft.
“NSRI rescue swimmer Meyer van Rooyen, who lives in Natures Valley, responded in his private vehicle and on arrival on-scene he found a boogie-boarder, Mark Horsman (37) from Grahamstown, being assisted out of the surf by a surfer, Mark Derman (36) from Harfield Village in Cape Town.
According to Farnham Meyer also found four Municipal Pro Lifeguard swimmers struggling against rip-currents in two separate groups of two lifeguards each, separated by about a kilometre.
“It appears that two lifeguards had initially entered the surf to assist the boogie-boarder but they were swept away and were later located by Glen Brown, in his helicopter, about a kilometre down the beach front. The arriving NSRI rescue craft were directed to their location by the helicopter. They were found about a kilometre down the beach. Both were rescued from the surf,” says Farnham
"The second two lifeguards were spotted by Meyer as he arrived on-scene and they were found caught in a rip-current about 200 metres off-shore. Meyer swam out to them and when he got to them he motioned to them to follow him further out to sea to beyond the breakers. Once safely out of the rip-current and behind the breaker line the NSRI rescue craft Ian Hepburn picked Meyer and the two lifeguards up," he added.
According to NSRI national spokesperson Craig Lambinon rescue craft brought the four lifeguards to shore at Natures Valley where they were treated for near drowning symptoms and exhaustion.
According Farnham Mark Horsman was not injured and required no further assistance.