Search-and-rescue operations are continuing after a 20-year-old man from Johannesburg went missing at Kidds Beach in Port Edward, KwaZulu-Natal.
According to National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) Port Edward station commander, Gert du Plessis, duty crew members were activated following eyewitness reports of a drowning.
Rescue swimmers responded immediately, followed by the SA Police Services, Netcare 911 ambulance services, KwaZulu-Natal ambulance services and Port Edward Traffic Service.
Meanwhile, the NSRI launched its jet-rib Rescue 32 Alpha. Du Plessis explains: “On arrival, a 19-year-old male was safely out of the water suffering non-fatal drowning symptoms.”
The 20-year-old was, however, missing in the surf and emergency responders launched search-and-rescue operations.
Du Plessis said it appears as though the two men were caught in rip currents while swimming. The 19-year-old attempted to assist his friend “who disappeared underwater”.
“The teenager was able to get free of the rip current and he came ashore,” Du Plessis added. Bystanders joined the search while the 19-year-old was transported to the hospital.
He recovered in the ambulance en route to the hospital and is currently in stable condition. The search for the 20-year-old man continues.
The NSRI said their thoughts were with the family of the missing man in this difficult time.