GEORGE NEWS - With beaches re-opened and people flocking to feel the sand between their toes and the waves on their skins, the local NSRI appeals to the public to be cautious and to only swim at beaches protected by lifeguards.
This comes after two near fatalities at local beaches within three days last week.
A 14-year-old girl was rushed to hospital after she was resuscitated on the beach on Wednesday afternoon, 3 February.
According to an eyewitness, the girl and her father were having fun in the shallow water shortly before the incident occurred.
"They were right next to me. The girl was on her boogie board and her father was there with her all the time. Her swimming cap came off and as she swam to grab it, she went under water. Her father almost immediately pulled her out and brought her to the beach, but she was unresponsive," she said.
Everyone gathered around the girl and her father in an attempt to help and to pray for her.
NSRI Wilderness deputy station commander, Mike Vonk, said off-duty medical professionals including a doctor, an ER24 paramedic and an ICU nurse, who happened to be on the beach at the time, initiated CPR.
"We contacted the key holder of a recently donated garage facility in Herold's Bay that holds NSRI emergency equipment and instructed them to take the medical equipment to the scene. They made use of the equipment to assist in their resuscitation efforts," said Vonk.
ER24 paramedics, NSRI Wilderness medics and Metro paramedics arrived and efforts to resuscitate the teenager continued before the girl was transported to hospital where she is still receiving medical care.
The off-duty ICU nurse who assisted with the rescue, Janey Kotzé, thanked everyone who assisted.
"We immediately started CPR and did everything we could. I'm especially thankful and impressed that the NSRI's emergency medical equipment was at hand immediately. This facilitated us to give her the best help possible while waiting for the ambulance. Thank you again to everyone involved," she said. The parents of the girl declined to comment.
On Friday afternoon, 5 February, the NSRI was called out to Victoria Bay after reports from an eyewitness that a girl (14) had been rescued from the water by off-duty lifeguards at Victoria Bay.
"On arrival the casualty female was found to be unconscious following a non-fatal drowning accident and she was in the care of the doctor and being assisted by the off-duty lifeguards," said NSRI Wilderness station commander, Garth Dominy.
NSRI and Metro paramedics stabilised the patient and she was transported to hospital by ambulance in a stable condition.
She has since been discharged.
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