The NSRI commended a pastor and fisherman for helping to save two men swept up by a rip current at the Leentjiesklip beach over the weekend.
Wilderness, South Africa (18 February 2020) – The NSRI Wilderness duty crew were called out after being alerted to two men that had been swept up by a rip current while swimming at the Leentjiesklip. When the duty crew arrived, they found two other men that had attempted to rescue the men in distress.
The rescuers, a pastor and a fisherman, have been hailed as heroes for their efforts to rescue the men in distress. By the time the NSRI had arrived, pastor Peter Veysie had already pulled one of the men onto the beach and had set out for the second.
“Our sea rescue craft Clemengold Rescuer was launched and NSRI rescue swimmers and WC Government Health EMS responded. We arrived on scene swiftly to find one of the casualties, 23-year-old Justin April from Pacaltsdorp, already on the beach and Pastor Peter Veysie, a local, who had rescued the man, on a sandbank about 30 meters out to sea. He had launched back into the surf to go after the second casualty.”
“That first casualty, Justin, who was already on the beach having been saved by Pastor Peter, was treated on the scene by NSRI medics and EMS paramedics for non-fatal drowning symptoms and was transported to hospital by EMS ambulance in a serious but stable condition. He has since been released from hospital and has expressed his thanks to Pastor Peter for rescuing him.”
The beach where the incident took place is home to an international award-winning NSRI Pink Bouy. Pastor Peter confirmed he was struck with a momentary dilemma knowing every second counted. He decided to head straight for the ocean as detouring to the Bouy could have been a death sentence for the men fighting the rip current.
Pastor Peter has been in and around the ocean his entire life and is a strong swimmer. It is important to note that if you are not a strong swimmer, you should wait for the NSRI or a lifeguard who is specially trained to work through situations like this.
Thankfully, Pastor Peter happened to be in the right place at the right time!
“He reached the first casualty, Justin, and was able to assist him to a sandbank where they had some relief before assisting him to shore and into the care of his wife. He returned, launching back into the sea, to go after the second man, 26-year-old Quinton Jacobs, from Pacaltsdorp.
The NSRI sea rescue craft arrived on the scene to find Pastor Peter on the sandbank indicating to the NSRI crew the direction in which the second man was being swept.
Pastor Peter is commended for his contribution in saving Justin’s life.”
The NSRI set out in the direction of Quinton Jacobs, who was now being swept towards the Kaaiman’s River Mouth. The situation was incredibly dangerous for him. Thankfully, two brothers Ettiene and Cecil Klue, from George, were fishing from the nearby rocks. They saw Quinton swept out passed them, about 80 meters from where they were standing.
Ettiene was celebrating his 45th birthday with his brother. Once again, a hero was in the right place at the right time. As the brothers watched Quinton, he disappeared under the water. The brothers jumped into action to try and save the young man’s life.
“He immediately reeled in his fishing line, calling to his brother to bring him a knife so he could use the knife to cut off the fish hook from his fishing line. Both his brother and his fishing bag were a distance away from him and he knew that he had only seconds to spare if he was going to be able to help the man who appeared to be drowning.
He reeled in his fishing line and used the jagged edge of a rock to cut the hook off. Keeping the 8-ounce sinker on the line, and knowing that he only had one shot, he aimed and cast his line towards Quinton, who was some 80 meters out to sea.
The sinker went over Quinton’s head and the fishing line landed across Quinton who wrapped it around his hand in 20 to 30 wraps and hung on.”
Ettiene’s angeling skills came in handy, and the rescue was something incredible, movie-worthy really! Ettiene reeled Quinton in towards the rocks where others helped pull him to safety. While the brothers prefer to catch Cob and Mussel Cracker, this is the catch of a lifetime, saving a life in one mighty swoop!
“Ettiene, NSRI applaud your highly commendable efforts that contributed to saving Quinton’s life.
Ettiene has recounted to NSRI that a few years ago he had witnessed a drowning in progress at nearby Victoria Bay and had raised the alarm. NSRI Wilderness had saved that man from drowning.
Justin and Quinton are neighbours in Pacaltsdorp and confirmed to NSRI on Monday that they are both doing well and have expressed their thanks to Pastor Peter and Ettiene for their assistance on Sunday.”
Two heroes emerged in one day, and two lives were saved. The NSRI is thankful for the assistance from both men, and grateful everyone was able to walk away from the terrifying situation.
The NSRI rely on public participation when an emergency occurs. If you see someone in distress, call the Sea Rescue Emergency number 112 on your cellphone. You can also support the work they do here.