The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) has warned the public to exercise caution at beaches after two men drowned in Port Elizabeth this week.
In a statement on Saturday, NSRI spokesperson Craig Lambinon said the incident happened on Tuesday.
He said the NSRI, Nelson Mandela Bay municipal lifeguards, Coastal Water Rescue, Eastern Cape health emergency services and police tried in vain to save the men, who had been swept out to sea at Maitlands Beach.
“The lifeguards, assisted by Coastal Water Rescue swimmers, arrived on the scene swiftly and they were able to recover both men from the surf,” said Lambinon.
“CPR efforts were conducted by paramedics on both men but sadly despite the extensive CPR efforts they were both declared deceased.”
Lambinon urged the public to be cautious on the beaches. “NSRI are appealing to the public to have safety top of mind in and around water,” he said.
“Swim at beaches protected by lifeguards. Only swim in between the lifeguards’ safe swimming zone that they post on the beach. Parents must ensure that children have responsible adult supervision around water.
“Don’t go too deep into the surf and if you are caught in rip currents don’t panic, simply stay afloat, go with the current, shout for help so that people on the beach can alert the lifeguards or they can call NSRI. At your first opportunity swim parallel to the beach until you are free of the rip current and then use the incoming waves to get back to shore.”