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  • Writer's pictureHermann Vivier

Surf Coach saves a life at Diaz Beach

The Surfer Kids employed a new Surf Coach earlier this year. Sinesipho Ngungu started working for The Surfer Kids in July 2017.

Sinesihpo is himself from the township where we recruit our kids. He is qualified for the job by virtue of the fact that he's a qualified lifeguard, having worked several seasons as a lifeguard at De Bakke Beach in Mossel Bay. He also completed an SSA Surf Instructor's Course with in October and he works for us full time, 5 days a week.

We've been very impressed with Sinesipho and this incident confirmed to us what we already knew: Sinesipho is a huge asset for The Surfer Kids.

On the 30th of November a elderly German tourist was swept out to sea in a rip current at Diaz Beach. There were no lifeguards on duty.


Sinesipho, second from left, with the German tourist whose life he saved next to him, standing in the middle.


Another person who was swimming at Diaz Beach at that same time tried to help this elderly man, but both were completely overwhelmed by the waves and the current. They very quickly found themselves in serious trouble. Fortunately for both of them, being a weekday, The Surfer Kids Core Surf Program was active. And as per usual our Program Supervisor, Andries Matthysen, and Surf Coach, Sinesipho Ngungu were on the beach training the kids. Andries was the first to spot trouble. He immediately alerted Sinesipho and both of them paddled out to assist. Sinesipho pulled out the second person, who was in shock but otherwise OK, while Andries struggled for some time to get the German tourist out. He had been pulled deeper by the current and had started disappearing beneath the surface. When Andries got him to the beach, Sinesipho jumped into action using years of lifesaving experience. The man wasn't breathing and had no pulse. Sinesipho immediately started CPR. It took Sinesipho about 15 minutes, and with Andries' help they successfully resuscitated the man, who was rushed to Life Bayview Hospital where he remained in intensive care overnight. He was released the following day, alive, in good health and grateful beyond words. Below is a copy of the original article as it appeared on page 2 of the local newspaper, the Mossel Bay Advertiser.

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