GEORGE NEWS - Comments abounded on the George Herald Facebook page after a man (35) drowned at Victoria Bay and two other men were rescued from the sea by two teenage friends, Kian Roscher and Connor Anderson, on Wednesday 25 September.
The victim as well as the two men who were saved were here on a visit from the Northern Cape. The deceased was a coordinator at the Funda Mzantsi reading competition. Read the article about Funda Mzantsi here.
No lifeguards were on duty, while the beach was crowded and the sea quite choppy.
Roscher's mother, Tracey, commented online that the boys were able to reach two of the three men, but unfortunately couldn't get to the third person in time.
Another person, Mariëtte Stopforth from Bloemfontein, commented that her son, Marno (13), a Grade 8 learner at Grey Kollege, swam out and recovered the deceased's body. When ER24 paramedics arrived on the scene shortly after 16:30, the victim was lying on the beach with bystanders giving CPR. "ER24 medics and members of NSRI Wilderness continued CPR and also initiated advanced life support interventions. Unfortunately, after some time, no vital signs returned and the man was declared dead," said ER24 spokesperson Russel Meiring. NSRI Wilderness station commander, Robert van Helsdingen, confirmed all three casualties were out of the water when their crew arrived.
Seasonal lifeguards have not been appointed
According to George fire chief Neels Barnard, the appointment process to appoint lifeguards for the festive season has been followed according to the recruitment and selection policy of the George municipality.
"Seasonal lifeguards have not been appointed yet and the fire and rescue services together with law enforcement officers have been making regular patrols at the various beaches. Once these lifeguards have been appointed, they will only be on duty during weekends from 1 to 30 November and thereafter every day of the week from 1 December until 31 January 2020.
From 1 February until 30 April the lifeguards will be on duty only over weekends. The official season starts on 1 December and no municipality in the Western Cape has lifeguards on duty in the September holidays," he said.
He said that red over yellow flags indicate that lifeguards are on duty. These flags are used to indicate that swimming is permitted in front of the area where the flags are flown and that the area is under the supervision of a qualified person.
No flags have been put up and therefore visitors to the various beaches swim at their own risk.
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