Early yesterday evening the NSRI Plettenberg Bay volunteer sea rescue duty crew were activated following a request for assistance from the fiancee of an angler who had been marooned at Pinnacle Rock, near Keurbooms Strand on the Natures Valley hiking trail.
The NSRI responded by road and on arrival in the area they hiked to where the man, 24 year old Ian Liessing, from Wittedrift, Plettenberg Bay, was trapped on rocks that were cut off from mainland by the high tide.
“On arrival on-scene it was determined that sea conditions were too rough to get a boat to the trapped man and after assessing the situation, with rough sea conditions in a 3 to 4 meter swell, we sent three of our NSRI rescue swimmers to swim through the channel and across to him where they found Liessing to be fine and in a relatively safe space.
We at first suggested that he could wait the night out (with our NSRI rescue swimmers staying with him for the night) and he could get ashore at low tide in the early morning but he wasn’t keen to stay there and with the tide still rising the decision was taken to swim him across the channel using rope techniques” said Deon Truter the NSRI station commander in Plettenberg Bay.
“We put him into a life-jacket and using ropes between mainland and the rescue swimmers he was encouraged and helped into the water and our NSRI rescue swimmers swam him through the surf and over rocks and safely ashore.
“Once ashore we hiked him out of the area to the waiting vehicles and he was released requiring no further assistance.
“He had gone fishing earlier in the day and did not expect the rocks he was fishing from to be surrounded by water when high tide swept in,” added Truter