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British lifeguards to the rescue

On Monday 29 January 2018 at approximately 7h30pm, NSRI Wilderness was activated following reports of a drowning in progress at Myoli Beach in Sedgefield.

A mother and daughter walking on the beach noticed a man in distress in the surf and rushed to a nearby restaurant to raise the alarm. Two patrons at the restaurant who happened to be qualified lifeguards from Channel Islands in the United Kingdom on holiday in South Africa responded to the situation. The two men, Finlay Whitmore and Ben Ralph launched into the surf and rescued a 29 year old male from the surf.

A bystander used a recently installed “Pink Buoy” and ran to assist at which stage the two lifeguards had already brought the casualty, a holidaymaker from Johannesburg to dry land. Another bystander, Ryan Childs from Cape Town, who is a qualified ambulance assistant and also blind, requested to be taken to the patient.

Warren Page and Conrad Potgieter, two NSRI volunteers arrived at the scene to find the casualty being treated by the two British lifeguards and the ambulance assistant from Cape Town. Using the medical jump kit and oxygen stored in the NSRI auxiliary station in Sedgefield, and started treating the casualty for symptoms of non-fatal drowning.

Dr. Sheryl Rajpaul who recently completed her medical studies, came forward and offered to assist. Between the doctor, the two British lifeguards, the two NSRI volunteers and the blind ambulance assistant, the patient was stabilised.

When ambulance services and the Fire and Rescue team arrived the patient was further assessed. At this stage the patient recovered sufficient and declined being transported to hospital. He was however advised to go for a medical exam as a precaution after suffering from symptoms of secondary drowning.

NSRI commend the British lifeguards, Finlay Whitmore and Ben Ralph, the Cape Town ambulance medic Ryan Childs, and Dr. Sheryl Rajpaul for their assistance.


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