Two men escaped drowning in Rooi Els after three local men came to their rescue on Friday.
The men, aged 27 and 19, were swept out to sea while crayfishing. Friends of theirs had thrown them a floatation tube, but they couldn’t reach the rocks due to the rough seas.
Rescue swimmers were sent to the scene by NSRI Kleinmond. The duty crew of the NSRI Gordon’s Bay was activated and their sea rescue craft was launched. Ambulance services from the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defence were also dispatched.
Meanwhile, three local men, William Boltmann, 36, his brother Richard, 32, and their friend Francois Koekemoer, 46, were about to go crayfishing on their rigid hull inflatable boat (RHIB) when an NSRI coast-watcher informed them of the crisis.
The two brothers and their friend launched their boat, carrying the NSRI pink rescue buoy from the slipway with them.
When they arrived, they were unable to get their boat close inshore, so they attempted to throw the rescue buoy, which was attached to a rope, to the two men, but it was being blown away by the wind.
William dove into the water with the pink rescue buoy in his hands. When he arrived at the first man, the boat’s crew drew them in and onto the boat. After that, William swam the rescue buoy to the second man, who was also pulled onto the boat and rescued.
Rescue swimmers from the NSRI had arrived by that point, but both the men were safe on the RHIB. They were taken to the slipway and treated by paramedics.
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