Pink Buoys Pier Student Bakoven Pink Buoy
Photo Credit: NSRI

A matric student braved the ocean to rescue a schoolmate from drowning during a beach outing; she used the NSRI Pink Buoy to save the young girl.


Sedgefield, South Africa (18 March 2022) – A school outing to the beach turned into a lesson about the dangers of the ocean and revealed a hero student amongst the crowd on this eventful day.

NSRI Wilderness duty Coxwain, Ian Gerber, shared how the Wilderness Duty crew were giving a water safety talk at the Wilderness base to around 90 school children when a rescue mission was launched. The events that followed left everyone in awe.

The duty crew had been working with 90 children from a local school when an alert came in for a drowning in progress at Swartvlei Beach. A second school group, not involved with the NSRI event, had been at the beach when a rip-current swept up a 12-year-old girl. Her 12-year-old friend attempted to rescue her, and he too was swept up by the current.

“NSRI Wilderness rescue swimmers responded directly to the scene. Our NSRI rescue vehicle responded and our sea rescue Jetrib was launched.

WC Government Health EMS – rescue squad and ambulance, The EMS/AMS Skymed rescue helicopter, Knysna Fire and Rescue Services, the SA Police Services and ER24 ambulance services responded. The Police Dive Unit were placed on alert.

It appears that a local school group were at the beach when a 12-year-old female learner was swept away by a rip current while swimming. Her 12-year-old male friend swam after her and he tried to help her.”

A matric learner from the same school saw the commotion and quickly ran for the NSRI Pink Buoy stationed at the beach. Being a strong swimmer and recreational surfer, she took to the water and swam after the young girl.

“A 17-year-old female matric learner, from the same school, who is also a surfer, grabbed the NSRI Pink Rescue Buoy that is stationed at Swartvlei Beach and she swam towards them to assist after a teacher had summoned children to run to fetch the NSRI Pink Rescue Buoy and while teachers raised the alarm alerting NSRI and the emergency services.

The teenage female reached the 12-year-old girl and kept her afloat using the rescue buoy as a floatation aid.”

Thankfully with a teacher’s guidance, the young boy could swim parallel to the beach and escape the rip-current. He was then able to swim back to shore.

A German kitesurfer was at the beach at the time, and he quickly sailed out to the matric student and the younger girl who were both clinging to the NSRI Pink Buoy. The matric student was able to grasp onto his board, she held the 12-year-old tightly, and the three sailed back to the safety of the beach.

“While NSRI were responding to the scene we were receiving calls from eye-witnesses reporting that a bystander Good Samaritan man had launched into the water on a kite-board and he rescued towed them to the beach using his kite board under sail.

On NSRI and emergency services arriving on the scene the children and the teenager were safely out of the water.

They were assessed by paramedics and treated for mild hypothermia and they were released requiring no further medical attention into the care of their teachers and no further assistance was required.

NSRI commend the German man and the matric teenager for saving the life of the child.

The quick reaction and instructions of the teachers is commended.”

The school outing will be one to remember.

Sources: NSRI – Supplied
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Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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