Child rescued at Swartvlei mouth

Garth Dominy, NSRI Wilderness acting station commander, said: We received this account of a rescue from local lifeguard Amore Heunis, who is also an ex-NSRI Wilderness trainee crew, and commend her and her friends Marilie Terblanche and Nadine Stroeble, local lifeguards, who were off-duty at Swartvlei Lagoon Mouth, Sedgefield.

This morning, Tuesday, 04th December, myself, Amore Heunis, and my friends Marilie Terblanche and Nadine Stroeble, went for a swim at the Swartvlei Lagoon mouth.

There was a young crowd of children swimming with apparently no adult supervision.

At about 13h30 I heard children crying for help, I turned around and saw a boy struggling in the water and his friends were shouting that he couldn’t swim.

The current was pulling him and he appeared to be bobbing in and out of the water, struggling to stay afloat.

I then ran and jumped in to help him, I managed to swim him over to the other side of the lagoon.

I immediately placed him in the recovery position because he wasn’t looking well.

I remembered about the pink NSRI bouy but it wasn’t in my reach at that moment.

Marilie had run home to raise the alarm and she called Mike Wood, head of the lifeguards for Sedgefield and Knysna, who alerted paramedics who responded.

I knew once Marilie arrived back from home she will remember about the NSRI Pink Bouy.

When Marilie arrived back from home I signalled to Marilie to fetch the pink bouy and she swam over with the bouy to assist.

The boy was not in any condition to swim over to the other side of the lagoon but then we saw people canoeing and we asked them to take the boy over to the other side where the paramedics were waiting and the canoeists assisted to get him across the lagoon to the paramedics.

One of his friends was also stuck on the other side so Marilie and I, using the NSRI Pink Buoy, we swam him across the lagoon to safety.

We are so grateful for the pink NSRI bouy which assisted us with the rescue and we are grateful for our lifesaving training that we can apply even when we are off duty.

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