Three trapped by Spring high tide in George

Picture: AFP

Picture: AFP

Three people, including two children, had to be rescued after being trapped by a Spring high tide at Pacaltsdorp near George on Saturday, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) said.

Hennie Niehaus, NSRI Wilderness station commander, said: “At 6:33pm on Saturday NSRI Wilderness duty crew were activated following eyewitness reports of three people, an adult male and two youngsters, on a rock cut off by the Spring high tide, at Pacaltsdorp, near to George, in front of the Blue Whale Resort.

“The eyewitness reported that the three trapped on the rock were shouting for help.

“NSRI Wilderness dispatched rescue crew to the scene and an assessment was made and found that although the rocks would not be completely engulfed by the Spring high tide high it would be some time before the tide dropped enough to walk them across.

“NSRI Wilderness duty crew and Western Cape Government Health Emergency Medical Services responded to the scene and on arrival the high tide had started to retreat but with a good 4 to 6 hours remaining before low tide, and considering that two of the three were children, the decision was taken to get them off the rock as quickly as possible to rule out any complications that may arise.

“A rescue swimmer was dispatched through the surf to the rock, carrying throw lines, where he found Errol Duitsjan, 53, his son Shonnold, 13, and their friend Ronaldo de Klerk, 7, all from Pacaltsdorp, safe but the beginning stages of hypothermia were setting in. They had been cut off from mainland while fishing from the rock during the Spring tide not realising that the Spring tide high tide would cut them off from mainland,” Niehaus said.

“In relays one at a time, all three were brought safely across through the surf assisted by the NSRI rescue swimmer using the throw line rope as a precaution against being swept away. In each relay the 2 to 3 meter swells were timed and they were brought across through the surf during a calm lull between wave sets.

“All three were brought across safely without incident. They were all treated for mild hypothermia but safe and not injured they did not require any further assistance once re-warmed and all resources returned to base at 21h30.”


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