31 October, 2018 31 October, 2018

Quick Action Saves Surfer in Kalk Bay

A Surfer has been saved following a combined rescue effort in Kalk Bay yesterday (30 October). Sean Thompson was there on the scene giving us a firsthand account of what happened: 

“From what I have heard – Brendon is type 1 Diabetes and had a low sugar “attack”. I was shooting from inside a closed bar at the bottom of the Bell and saw him paddling really close to the wall,  but he seemed okay. I then noticed that he became unattached from his board. He kept floating around in the water, ducking under waves and seemingly looking for something. I wasn’t sure if he was in distress or looking for something? Thought he might have dropped a GoPro or something. Jordy still paddled past him and asked him if he was okay to which he gave the thumbs up. This dragged on and then I thought that something was not so lekker. A wave then knocked him backwards, where I then lost sight of him. So I grabbed my gear and went up to Main Road and to the platform to see if I could see him.

“By the time I got there he had washed onto the rocks and someone had jumped in to assist him. Within minutes a few guys went down, fully clothed and in wetsuits to assist. Troy Haydon, a SAPS guy also got into the water to assist. He radioed for assistance. The problem was there was pretty powerful swell and the tide was on the push. They needed to move Brendon from where they were before the waves started battering them into the wall. They couldn’t lift him as they didn’t know what was wrong. Medics en route to a colleagues funeral were close to the Reef and responded to the call out. Still, they had no way of moving him and when the Fire Department arrived they brought one of those baskets which they used to put Brendon in to move him out of the water. While this was unfolding the metro police did a great job of writing tickets for certain vehicles in the parking lot”.

Things can go wrong so quickly and this could have turned out for the worse had it not been a collective effort to get Brendon out of the water. Wishing Brendon a speedy recovery.

Jordy Maree was right in the thick of things on the day, a man who has saved people before out in the water, we reached out to get an understanding of what happened from in the water.  

“I spoke to Brendon in the car park before and he had been surfing the whole day already and waves were out of control and I told him I’m going to paddle out and he was going to meet me out back He went on a few savage waves that I didn’t even look at and I think he just didn’t have much energy and didn’t eat that day and being a diabetic his sugar levels were too low.”

“After the one set Brendon went on I saw him paddling very slowly back out to back line and I got a wave and asked him if he was alright, as it looked as if he was cramping. He half nodded at me, so I thought he was just cramping but he was losing energy by the second. I caught one more wave and saw him closer to the brass bell wall and looking like he was struggling so I paddled over to him and just before I got to him I saw him black out. I grabbed him by the chest and lifted him up onto the washed-up seaweed to get out of the waves smashing up against the wall.”

“My friend Tom and a local law enforcement guy, Troy helped me get him to safety, away from the wall. The ambulance arrived and we had to carry Brendon on a stretcher across the rocks from the brass bell, where the waves smashed us up against the rocks to the beach. Glad he is safe and still with us.”

Great to see the sense of community out in the lineup, we wish Brendon a speedy recovery. Special mention must go the way of Jordy Maree for his quick thinking and commitment to ensuring his mate’s safety. 

A few years earlier Brendon experienced another close call out in the Cape. 

1 Comment

  1. warren
    27 November, 2018 at 11:11 am · Reply

    Great article, really happy with the outcome. As an ex Capetonian who lost a friend off the harbour wall in a storm, I know only too well that that incident ant Kalk Bay could so easily have ended in a fatality.

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