At 08h00, Saturday, 20th October, NSRI Port Elizabeth duty crew were activated following reports of surf-skiers in difficulty 1 nautical mile off-shore of Main Beach in the vicinity of the Bell Buoy.The son of a surf-skier reported that he had received a phone call from his mom who told him that she was adrift at sea about 1 nautical mile off-shore of Main Beach. She was drifting in the water in her life jacket after losing a surf-ski that had been loaned to her by her friend who was apparently swimming to shore. (…) immediately the sea rescue craft JTL RESCUER was launched.
“(…) On arrival on the scene, the male surf-skier had come across the lady swimming towards shore and he had stopped to help her. We took that lady onboard our sea rescue craft and started to treat her for hypothermia. The male surf-skier then paddled safely to shore. A search began for the missing lady. Her friend, who we had just picked up, was surprised to hear that she was reported as adrift at sea in a life-jacket. Calls to the cellphone went unanswered and the lady’s son had come down to our Sea Rescue base to be interviewed while we tried to determine where his mom was. Following an extensive search we came across his mom – in the water in her life-jacket. She had been in the water for over 2 hours and she was severely hypothermic. We rescued her and we immediately started treatment for severe hypothermia. We took both of them to our sea rescue base. (…)