A man is missing in the sea after being swept off the rocks at Oubaai on the Southern Cape coast, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) said on Saturday.
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NSRI Wilderness duty crew were activated shortly after noon following a request for assistance from Oudtshoorn Police Academy members reporting one of their members missing in the sea at the Oubaai Golf Resort near Herolds Bay, between Wilderness and Mossel Bay, NSRI Wilderness station commander Robert van Heldsingen said.
The sea rescue craft Oscars Rescue was towed to the scene and launched and an NSRI rescue vehicle, NSRI rescue swimmers, Western Cape government health emergency medical services (EMS), ER24 ambulance service, and the EMS/AMS Skymed rescue helicopter responded, he said.
“On arrival on the scene an extensive sea, air, and shoreline search started for a 29-year-old man, believed to be from Gauteng and believed to be a member of the SA Police Service Academy [SAPS] in Oudtshoorn.
“It is believed that a group of men were on rocks on the shoreline below the Oubaai Golf Resort when the man was swept off rocks by a wave. According to reports a friend went into the surf to try to rescue him and the friend managed to get safely back to the shore after losing sight of the victim. Despite an extensive search no sign of the missing man has been found.”
A police dive unit would continue an ongoing search. Spring tide peaks on the new moon on Saturday and the effects of this spring tide on the coastline would last for the next few days, Van Heldsingen said.
Spring tide happened twice every month, at full moon and at new moon, and lasted for a few days each time, peaking on the day of the full moon and the new moon. Spring tides brought a higher than normal high tide and a lower than normal low tide and stronger than normal rip currents.
“It is suspected that the new moon spring tide and large sea swells in the area of the Southern Cape coastline today [Saturday] may have contributed to the incident happening today.
“The public, anglers, bathers, beach strollers, boaters, and paddlers are advised to exercise caution around the coastline and to be aware of rough sea conditions and the spring tide phenomenon and its affect on the coastline,” Van Heldsingen said.
– African News Agency (ANA)