Port Elizabeth – An elderly Port Elizabeth man on Thursday rescued two students from Lusikisiki, Transkei, after they got into trouble while swimming at Hobie Beach.
However, a third student, a 28-year-old man, is missing and presumed dead, Netwerk24 reported.
The tragedy unfolded at about 10:00 when the three, who were on an educational camp in the windy city, decided to go swimming and were swept away to sea by the tide.
Deputy station commander of the NSRI, Justin Erasmus, said the elderly man saw that the students had gotten into difficulty and went to their rescue.
The NSRI said they didn’t know who he was.
“The man had launched into the surf and he was able to rescue two of the students, both 26, and get them to the beach.
“He went back to help the third student, but he was nowhere to be found. It’s suspected that he disappeared under the water,” said Erasmus.
The NSRI, a helicopter and Nelson Mandela Bay emergency staff launched a co-ordinated search at sea and along the coast for the third student, but there was no sign of him.
“One of the students received medical attention at the scene. The other one was admitted to a local hospital for observation and is being treated for secondary symptoms of drowning. He is expected to recover fully,” Erasmus said.
Brenhan Metune, the district chief of the Nelson Mandela Bay emergency services, said the men were students at the Ingwe college in Lusikisiki.
He said the air search had been suspended because of poor weather. The search is continuing on foot.
According to police spokesperson Captain Johan Rheeder, they are investigating the incident.
Rheeder said the names of the two men who were rescued couldn’t be released yet, because the police still had to take their statements.
The name of the missing student will only be released once his next of kin have been informed.