Early yesterday evening, the NSRI Kommetjie sea rescue crew were activated following eye-witness reports of a surfer suspected to be missing at sea off-shore of Kommetjie Beach.
Eye-witnesses, which included beach goers and other surfers, had noticed a male surfer to be in what they thought may be some difficulty after he had walked onto the beach (he hadn’t arrived by car) and he had gone surfing, at dusk, wearing a black wet-suit and black wet-suit hoody on a white surfboard.
“They watched him appearing to be struggling to catch waves in the big surf conditions and as dark fell they could no longer see him, he was about 300 meters off-shore, and after watching the coastline to see if he emerged back onto the beach he failed to appear and they raised the alarm fearing that he may still be in the surf and in trouble”, said Tom Coetzee, NSRI Kommetjie station commander.
A sea and shore search commenced which included NSRI volunteers walking along the shore-line in both directions for 2 miles and the NSRI Discovery Quad Bike searching along the shore while two sea rescue craft followed the drift of the off-shore currents and patrolled the back-line in efforts to find the surfer.
Every effort was also made to keep a listening watch to hear if any cries for help came from the sea or along the shore despite the rumbling of the big surf conditions.
The shoreline along Chapmans Peak was also scoured using infra red night vision from Chapmans Peak Drive.
“No sign of a missing surfer was been found and there have been no reports from any concerned family of any surfer missing or overdue from surfing this afternoon. We have no way of knowing where the surfer lives as he arrived at the beach on foot and alone” added Coetzee.
“Our hope is that in the dark the surfer may have left the water and went home out of sight of the concerned eye-witnesses. While we are continuing to monitor the situation, with little information to go on, until someone is reported missing or overdue, that may be related to this incident, a sea search has been called off.”