Man survives being swept out to sea off Tweni

The Med-Evac chopper flies over Tweni beach. Photo: Med-Evac

A man got into difficulty while enjoying a late afternoon swim at Umtentweni beach yesterday (Monday).

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Pamela de Heer said she was at the beach with her teenage children and their friends, when the scary incident unfolded at about 5pm.

The man, believed to be in his 20s, was with his girlfriend at the time.

He nearly didn’t make it. He got stuck in currents and was trying to fight it. When he just gave up the current brought him all the way around and back to the shore. He was going under whole time and we thought he wasn’t going make it and was too risky for us to go in and try and save him. The current was very strong – Pamela de Heer

Reflecting on the incident Pamela, said she was relieved that she hadn’t just dropped her teenagers off at the beach that afternoon. “They wanted to jump in and help the man, which could have put their lives in danger too.”

Pamela has some pointers for other beachgoers and their children:

  1. Save all relevant emergency numbers on yours and  your children’s cellphones.
  2. Be extra careful of Tweni’s beach’s nasty currents.
  3. Teach your children to be water wise and to not fight the current if caught in one.
  4. Don’t jump in to try save someone as their instinctive reaction is usually to hold on to you, which will in turn pull you under the water, and put your life at risk.

Glen Preston of Med-Evac Emergency Services said they responded and assisted the man who was by that time already out of the water.

Mr Preston added that his team had also yesterday afternoon assisted  in searching for a man and his two children who had apparently disappeared from Margate beach.

Med-Evac flying over Margate beach in search for the allegedly missing father and his two daughters. Photo: Med-Evac.

The Med-Evac helicopter joined Wolf Security (which also searched the area by helicopter), officers from the SAPS Search and Rescue  unit and Tower 13 lifeguards in the search.

Mr Preston said the first report of the alleged drowning was from a person under the influence,  followed later by a second report.

The view of Margate beach from the Med-Evac helicopter. Photo: Med-Evac.

But the search proved to be in vain, and the trio had not been reported missing with police at the time of writing.

Here are the emergency numbers YOU need to save to your cellphone:

  • NSRI – 082 990 5950.
  • Med-Evac (Tower 13’s official medical partner) – 082 940 1590. 
  • Law Enforcement control room: 039 682 5555.


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Shona Aylward

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