Heroic beachgoer hospitalised after helping struggling swimmers

Durban – A heroic swimmer who assisted a group of swimmers who had gotten into difficulty in the surf of a KwaZulu-Natal beach has been hospitalised after he, too, found himself in trouble in the water.

Netcare 911 spokesperson Shawn Herbst said paramedics, emergency services and the National Sea Rescue Institute responded to reports of a drowning at an unprotected non-swimming beach in Salt Rock, North of Ballito shortly before 14:00 on Saturday.

“Reports from a source at the scene indicated that a group of swimmers got into difficulty while swimming. A 53-year-old male who witnessed the event rushed to the rescue, pulling one person out the water and bravely returned to assist the others,” Herbst said.

“The man managed to retrieve a 17-year-old female who was part of the group that became submerged while swimming, but experienced difficulties himself.”

Both had been moved to shore where KwaDukuza Lifeguards found the girl was unresponsive and not breathing.

“CPR was initiated by the lifeguards prior to the arrival of ambulance services who initiated a full advanced life support resuscitation, successfully regaining a pulse. A helicopter ambulance airlifted the young female in a critical condition to hospital.”

The man was stabilised on scene and transported by ambulance to hospital for further treatment.

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