ON Sunday morning, members of the Woodridge Surf Lifesaving Club’s C Squad performed a rescue in dangerous seas when two visitors to St Francis Main Beach found themselves in dire straits.
The women, down for an early morning swim, were quickly dragged out to sea by a strong rip current.
Squad members, using rescue boards and rescue torpedo buoys, swam out and secured the patients. After the lifesavers had calmed them down, they were safely brought through the surf and returned to the beach.
In a letter of thanks to the patrol squad, the rescued women expressed their gratitude for the professional and competent manner in which they were assisted by the Woodridge lifeguards.
Squad leader Shannon Bailey must be commended on her expert management of the rescue. Locals Stephanie Spowart and Grant Fox were also involved, as were Gina Gauna, Jason le Roux and club captain, Oelof Voster.
Unfortunately two lives have been lost in this exact spot in the past three months while the beach was not patrolled.
It is therefore important that the beach must be viewed by the bathing public with extreme caution. Conditions on Sunday were extremely dangerous, especially on the low tide, with a large swell and strong rips created by the easterly winds of the past week.
Gullies parallel to the shore fed wash to a strong rip, directly in front of the ablution block.
The club has lodged an urgent appeal to the Kouga Council to erect warning signs, which should include information about the dangers, and when lifeguards are on duty.
Woodridge Surf also wishes to thank the NSRI for their prompt response and assistance.
The Woodridge Surf Lifesaving Club performs voluntary beach patrols at Main Beach from 9am to 5pm each Sunday in the months of November and January to March each year.
This is the second season Woodridge SLC has patrolled this beach.
Should anyone wish to have more information about this beach, or require assistance with water-based activities, they can contact Rob Smith at rob.smith@woodridge .co.za or call 084-545- 4089.