Oyster Bay man saves teens from drowning

CLOSE CALL: Richard Kettledas, left, and NSRI Oyster Bay commander Lodewyk van Rensburg rescued Kettledas's two nephews who were caught in a riptide on Monday afternoon
CLOSE CALL: Richard Kettledas, left, and NSRI Oyster Bay commander Lodewyk van Rensburg rescued Kettledas's two nephews who were caught in a riptide on Monday afternoon
Image: NSRI

An Oyster Bay man’s quick thinking saved the lives of his two teenage nephews after they were caught in riptides on Monday afternoon.

Using the National Sea Rescue Institute’s pink rescue buoy, Ricardo Kettledas, 29 bravely brought the teens to shore.

This brings the number of successful rescue operations using the pink buoys to 56 countrywide.  

Oyster Bay station commander Lodewyk van Rensburg said a group of seven youngsters, including Kettledas, got caught in a rip current.

He said  Kettledas and four children were in shallow water and able to make it back to shore.

However, two 14-year-olds were swept out to sea.

Kettledas, who is their uncle,  used the NSRI’s pink rescue buoy at the beach to get one of the teens out of the water while Van Rensburg joined in to pull the second youngster from the surf.

Van Rensburg said when Kettledas realised the boys were in trouble he told the other children to grab the buoy.

“He launched into the surf with the pink buoy and was able to rescue one of the teenagers to shore.

“That teenager was showing non-fatal drowning symptoms and he was unconscious.

“When I arrived on the scene I placed that teenager in the recovery position and I was informed of one teenager still missing in the surf.

“Knowing that additional sea rescue crew were almost arriving I left the teenager in the recovery position in the care of the other boys while myself and Ricardo launched into the surf.

“At the backline we were able to reach the remaining teenager, who was lifeless in the water.

Ricardo still had the pink rescue buoy with him and assisted by the buoy we brought the teenager to shore.

“Once on the shore I commenced CPR efforts on the boy who was not breathing and he had no pulse,” Van Rensburg said.

Private Care ambulance services had been activated and the NSRI duty crew were arriving on the scene at that time, he added.

“A pulse and spontaneous breathing was restored to the teenager during CPR efforts and the teenager was taken into the care of paramedics on their arrival.

“He was transported to hospital in a critical condition by private care ambulance.

“The first teenager who was rescued by Ricardo was also transported to hospital in a serious condition by ambulance and is recovering.”

Van Rensburg said the second teen was transferred to a Port Elizabeth hospital where he remained in a serious condition in the intensive care unit.

NSRI national spokesperson Craig Lambinon commended Kettledas for his bravery.

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