A 53 year old man from Port Elizabeth drowned in front of the Kabeljous Lagoon in Jeffreys Bay yesterday after getting stuck in a rip current.
Tyrone Roberts went into the water to assist some children who were caught in the rip but unfortunately succumbed to the strong currents that are prevalent along this section of coastline.
Jeffreys Bay lifeguards who were on duty at Kablejous Beach, were alerted that a man was in trouble and immediately ran down the shore line to where Roberts was laying on the beach after being helped out of the water by other beach goers.
The children has been swimming in the ocean approximately 400 m away from the area where the lifeguards had set out the designated swimming area for the morning.
Upon arrival the lifeguards immediately began with Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) procedures, but despite being assisted by a doctor shortly afterwards, their efforts were to no avail.
The body of the deceased was taken into the care of the Forensic Pathology Services and Police have opened an inquest docket.
An additional 3 people, an adult man, a 16 year old male and a 15 year old male, were treated for non-fatal symptoms and transported to hospital by ambulance in stable conditions.
Mayor Elza Van Lingen expressed her condolences to the family of Roberts and expressed her gratitude for his efforts in trying to save the children caught in the rip.
“Sadly a life was lost on the first day of the new year and we urge swimmers to always obey the lifeguards and swim in the designated areas.
We can never underestimate the power of the ocean and I thank the Jeffreys Bay lifeguards for their quick response to the situation, as well as to NSRI and EMS for their support,” said Van Lingen.