Hennie Niehaus, NSRI Wilderness station commander, said; “On 24 April at 16h17 NSRI Wilderness volunteers were activated following reports of persons missing in the surf at Gwaaing River Mouth, Wilderness.
NSRI Wilderness volunteers responded to the scene in our NSRI sea rescue 4×4 vehicle towing our sea rescue craft Serendipity which was launched on scene following confirmation by Metro EMS and ER-24 ambulance service, who were on-scene, that two men remained missing in the surf.
A further two men were already ashore.
One man was treated on-shore by paramedics, for near drowning symptoms, and transported to hospital in a serious condition, and one man was declared dead on-scene, by paramedics, after extensive efforts to resuscitate the man were exhausted.
An extensive sea, air and shore search, by our NSRI sea rescue craft and the Metro EMS Red Cross AMS helicopter, and by Police and paramedics on-shore, has revealed no sign of the two missing men.
A police dive unit are continuing with an ongoing search and police have opened an inquest docket.
The man taken to hospital, aged 31, is direct family of the two missing men, aged 28 and 33, they are from Paccaltsdorp, the deceased man, aged 35, is from Riversdale. It appears that the two missing men and the deceased man (3 men) were swept out to sea by rip-currents while swimming and the 4th man (who is now in hospital) went to their aid before getting into difficulty himself.”