Surfer dies after washing onto rocks at Eastern Cape beach, weather warnings issued

Members of the National Sea Rescue Institute in action. File Photo.
Members of the National Sea Rescue Institute in action. File Photo.
Image: Flickr/NSRI

An experienced surfer died at Seal Point, Cape St Francis, on Christmas Day.

Sara Jane Smith, the National Sea Rescue Institute's St Francis Bay station commander, said their duty crew were alerted to a surfer in difficulty at 4.20pm on Wednesday.

“A local man, a regular surfer in the area, had washed onto rocks after appearing to be in difficulty in the surf from unknown causes,” she said.

A group of local young surfers had rescued the man from the rocks and had managed to take him to the shore.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation was attempted with the help of a private doctor, who was on the beach too. The NSRI duty doctor and its medics, as well as lifeguards and paramedics, also offered aid.

“Sadly, despite extensive CPR efforts, after all efforts to resuscitate the man were exhausted, he has been declared deceased,” said Smith.

The Weather Service and NSRI have issued a warning for beachgoers to exercise extreme caution on the Cape coast on Thursday.

Effective between 6am and 10pm, the Weather Service said: “Gale force westerly to southwesterly winds (65-70km/h) are expected along the coast between Hermanus and Mossel Bay today.”

The SA Weather Service has also issued a warning for wind and waves on Thursday, for up to 15 nautical miles for coastal areas between Cape Columbine and Plettenberg Bay.

The NSRI said a spring tide was resulting in high tides being higher than normal and low tides being lower than normal. “This is a crucial period especially on the Day of Goodwill as people will be visiting coastal regions and engaging in marine activities.

“NSRI are appealing to bathers, paddlers and boaters to heed the SA Weather Service alert and be cautious particularly in light of the peak of the New Moon Spring Tide, peaking on December 26, that will affect the coastline.”

It said this would gradually begin to dissipate between the Day of Goodwill and New Year's, returning to normal tides by around New Year's Day.

- TimesLIVE