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Fri, 28 June 2019

Quick thinking, a phone call and a super fast response by members of NSRI Station 21 in Cape St Francis led to the rescue of a 22-year-old Cape Town surfer yesterday, writes Spike.


SLASH SLIDE: Jordy Smith and crew were having a blast at a certain right point.

The young woman was caught in a rip and heading out to sea after surfing at Granny's Pool in the bay, when J-Bay.com local Garth Robinson, who was taking pictures of Jordy Smith shredding a certain right hand point to pieces, spotted her.

Robinson had taken a drive to check out the spot going off in a four metre east swell "so I decided to get some shots with the old Century 1000mm. Scored some semi-decent pics then panned left and suddenly spotted a surfer girl caught in a bad rip way out to sea.

Had her hair all tangled up in her leash and was then swept out to sea"I called the NSRI who were there in about five minutes flat (out of the harbour) to pick her up," he said. Apparently, their rescue craft gets a top speed of 40kts so no wonder. Robinson found out later that she had paddled out at Granny's Pool, "got caught inside and had her hair all tangled up in her leash and was then swept out to sea way down towards Anne Avenue and then out in the rip caused by the pumping east swell. That old Century lens proved to be quite handy today."


QUICK SAVE: Members of NSRI Station 21 at St Francis conducted the rescue. Photo Robinson

Sara Jane Smith, NSRI St Francis Bay station 21 commander, said: "At 16h03, NSRI St Francis Bay duty crew were activated following reports of a drowning in progress near the popular surf spot Granny’s Pool.

She said that they launched the Sea Rescue craft Spirit of St Francis II, and NSRI rescue swimmers "responded to the scene where a 22 year old Cape Town surfer was caught in rip currents. It appears that her hair had been caught in the surfboard leash causing her to be dragged under water and then, on surfacing she was swept out to sea in a rip current".

"Our crew on board our Sea Rescue craft negotiated 4 metre swells and breaking waves to reach her. We quickly rescued her onto the Sea Rescue craft and took her safely to shore. She was assessed for non-fatal drowning symptoms and did not require immediate medical attention."

On Facebook, Smith thanked Robinson for making the call, as well as other eye-witnesses.

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