Hout Bay Sentinel - Lindy Nauta
Being at the right place at the right time, and with the right people on duty, saved 22-month old Jordan du Plessis’ life during the Ottery family’s visit to Hout Bay earlier this month.
When the baby started choking and turning blue, Grandfather Ebrahim Adams immediately rushed to Wheelers Pharmacy where he had worked ten years ago as a driver. Pharmacist Janine Cupido realised the situation was very serious and she rushed little Jordan’s by now lifeless body to Watchcon, Hout Bay;s 24/hour emergency centre just behind the pharmacy, where controller Steven King happened to be on duty.
Steven, who is also a qualified paramedic, saw that something was obstructing the air ways which was stopping the oxygen supply to the brain – the baby went into a fit and was having a seizure.
“I felt there was a big hard bubble in the baby’s throat just below were the Adams Apple is situated, so I finger-swept his mouth and windpipe, managing to pop the obstruction whereupon the baby then vomited”, said Steven. “He had an immediate relief of oxygen that flowed to the brain and he started crying, much to the panicked family’s relief.”
It was felt that a high dose of Panado’s to combat the baby’s teething pains earlier on that morning, combined with a big gulp of Oros had led to the fluid to sit on top of the wind pipes and oesophagus and drip/drain through rather than be swallowed as normal.
Jordan consequently spent 2 days in hospital where extensive checks were run. Apart from a cough he was pronounced fine and was allowed to go home.
“Steven deserves a medal”, said grandfather Ebrahim, whose wife Zaahida grew up in Hout Bay. They, along with mum Teena and dad Ikraam came back to Hout Bay a week later, with their arms full of beautifully wrapped goodie packs for the Watchcon team as a thank you.
Akraam Adams, Teena du Plessis and their baby son Jordan dropped by Watchcon’s 24/hour helpcentre to thank controller and paramedic Steven King for saving their baby’s life a week earlier.
Hout Bay residents – as well as visitors - are indeed fortunate to have instant help at our fingertips. Programme Watchcon’s number, 021 790 9333, into your phone. Watchcon is a joint operation by the Hout Bay Neighbourhood Watch and ADT.
Lyall Pringle, NSRI Hout Bay station commander, said; “On Sunday, 13 January, at 15h30 NSRI Hout Bay volunteer sea rescue duty crew were placed on alert following a request for assistance from a hiking club reporting to be hiking with 20 Cape Town hikers on the Karbonkelberg Hiking Trail, between Sandy Bay and Hout Bay and stuck at Die Braak, approximately half way along the trail, and unable to proceed.
“It was determined that their guide had never hiked the trail before, they appeared to be ill equipped with some of the hikers wearing slip-slops and some hikers having no warm gear and it appeared that most had inadequate water supplies.
“Two of the hikers were reported to be asthmatic.
“Die Braak is a well known junction on this trail where scores of past hikers have found themselves needing to be rescued.
“The hikers had departed at 08h00 and had reportedly at some point got lost, delaying their hike, on a hiking trail that can take experienced hikers a good 8 hours to negotiate.
“The Hout Bay branch of Wilderness Search and Rescue (WSAR) and the WC Government Health EMS rescue division were alerted and the EMS Skymed helicopter was placed on alert.
“Our plan was to deliver experienced rescue guides by boat to the location to assist to walk the hikers out of their predicament and supplies, including water, cool drinks and extra food and energy bars, was purchased by NSRI to deliver to the hikers but prior to being able to do this the Skymed rescue helicopter was confirmed to be responding and the WSAR rescuers would be deployed to the hikers by the Skymed rescue helicopter and then a decision would be taken to either hoist the hikers into the helicopter or for the rescue guides to hike them to safety.
“Our NSRI Hout Bay volunteer sea rescue duty crew launched our sea rescue craft ALBIE MATTHEWS and NEDBANK RESCUER and responded and on arrival on-scene two NSRI rescue swimmers swam ashore to begin to triage the hikers and our rescue swimmers took hand-held radio’s, for communications, and our sea rescue vehicle was dispatched to Rocket Road, Llandudno to aid with VHF radio communications.
“On arrival on-scene our rescue swimmers were met with some confusion as there were only 15 hikers present and they claimed that initially 4 hikers had left the group to hike back to Sandy Bay and that later an additional two hikers had left the group to also hike back to Sandy Bay but this brought the total hikers numbers to 21 when initially we were informed that there were only 20 and it came to light that it was assumed by the hikers that some hikers may have joined the group at the last minute and may have gone unaccounted for.
“Some of the hikers, apparently fearing dehydration, had drunk sea water which had accelerated their path to dehydration while also making them feel rather unwell.
“The Skymed helicopter then arrived and in relays all 15 hikers were hoisted into the rescue helicopter and airlifted to our sea rescue base and then, following a brief search, an additional two hikers, who had separated from the main group, were found near to the Boss 400 crane barge wreck and they were also hoisted into the rescue helicopter and airlifted to our sea rescue base.
“It was then revealed that the remaining 4 hikers, who had also separated from the main group, had made it safely back to the Sandy Bay car park in Llandudno without assistance and they were safe and needed no further help.
“Then a lone female hiker was spotted by the Skymed rescue helicopter, hiking on the trail, and initial thoughts were that she may also be in difficulty and that she may have also been part of the hiking group, particularly because in fading light she was alone and walking far along the trail a good 3 hours hike, at best, to the Sandy Bay side of the hiking trail but she indicated to the helicopter crew that she was in no danger and that she was happy to continue with her walk. It was later determined that she was not part of the hiking club and we suspect that she may be a very experienced hiker on her evening walk!
“No one was injured and after consuming the supplies that NSRI had purchased for them, at our sea rescue base, all 17 hikers left to go home.”
Story from My Cape Town >>
Safety and ensuring your survival when the odds, or the weather, unexpectedly turn against you begins before you leave home. We have gone so far as to recommending to boaters and paddlers to practice safety and emergency techniques by jumping into a swimming pool with all your gear to practice using your safety safety equipment (practice in a safe environment) as it is no good trying to familiarize yourself with your safety equipment for the first time in a real emergency.
Anglers fishing along the coastline are urged to wear Life-Jackets while fishing close to the shores edge. Be acutely aware of the high and low tides, never turn your back to the sea and take extra precautions during the twice monthly Spring Tides.
Children should have responsible adult supervision around any water at all times especially at swimming pools. Statistics released by the Medical Research Council show the greatest number of drowning accidents occur amongst children aged between 5 and 14 in swimming pools, rivers, lakes and dams. Always have someone responsible watching over your children while they are swimming.
Swimming Pools should be surrounded by a cloak of safety. Nets over a swimming pool and fences and gates should be well maintained and securely placed at all times. Children should not be left alone around swimming pools.
Rip-Currents are the greatest cause of drowning accidents along the coast. A rip-current is a river of water flowing fast out to sea against the incoming waves and can occur at different places along the coastline regularly throughout the day.
Rip Currents are a naturally forming channel, or river, of water heading out to sea against the incoming currents. As waves push water onto the shore the water has to find a way of heading back out to sea. This is done by rip currents. They form at different places constantly along the coast.
Anyone caught in a rip-current will realize that they are being swept out to sea faster than what they can swim towards shore. If you are caught in a rip-current:
During Spring Tide, which happens twice a month every month of the year at full moon and again at new moon along every coast in the world, rip currents are at their strongest for a few days leading up to Spring Tide, peaking on the day of Spring Tide (on the day of the full or the new moon), and lasting for a few days after the day of full moon or new moon.
Spring Tides cause a higher than normal high tide and a lower than normal low tide and hence they cause much stronger than normal rip-currents (compared to other times of the month). Spring Tides are caused by the Magnetic pull of the Moons effect on earth.
Spring Tide rip-currents can be so strong that they are known to sometimes sweep people off their feet in ankle deep water and sweep people rapidly out to sea.
Extreme caution should be exercised during the Spring Tides.
Bathers at beaches should try to swim only when and where lifeguards are on duty and swim within the safe demarcated swimming zones are posted by lifeguards at the beach using their red and yellow flags. Lifeguards at beaches change the safe demarcated swimming zones regularly throughout the day (depending where they detect the strongest rip currents to be) and ask bathers to move to bathe in the new placed channel. The public should obey the lifeguards instructions.
Swimming at rivers, lakes and dams can be dangerous as swirling water and rapidly flowing rivers can cause a bather to be sucked under water while swimming, or swept rapidly down stream and into possible danger, hence inland water bathers should be cautious at all times.
IN A SEA RESCUE EMERGENCY:
Everyone living along the coast or anyone visiting the coast and all sea users should find out what their nearest NSRI emergency telephone number is. The NSRI have sea rescue stations along the coast around South Africa and also have rescue stations at the Vaal Dam, the Hartbeespoort Dam and at Victoria Lake (in Germiston).
To find out what your nearest sea rescue emergency number is go to www.nsri.org.za.
Another very important emergency phone number to store in your phone is 10177 (dial from any phone). 10177 is the National emergency medical and rescue services contact number and should only be used to report an emergency.
10177 can also be used (in conjunction with your nearest sea rescue emergency number) to report a sea rescue emergency but in the Kwa-Zulu Natal area an additional sea rescue emergency number is the Police's 10111.
NSRI volunteer sea rescue is on-duty 24 hours a day every day of the year.
NSRI wish all South Africans and visitors from abroad a safe festive season.
Between 22nd December, 2012 and 04th January, 2013, Media are requested to please contact Meriel Bartlett - 0829947555 or Andrew Ingram - 0829905977 for media enquiries.
Sea Rescue Communications
NSRI is manned by 980 unpaid volunteer women and men at 32 rescue bases around the coast and at 3 rescue bases on inland dams.
Donations, bequests, sponsorships, debit orders and fund raising cover the annual running cost of R25m.
The NSRI volunteers save NSRI a salary bill in excess of R250m per annum.
NSRI began in 1967 as a humanitarian service at no charge to the public.
Our assets include 92 sea rescue boats of various sizes and 27 4x4 sea rescue vehicles.
Our Mission: SAVING LIVES ON SOUTH AFRICAN WATERS.
Extract from a statement by Councillor Beverley Schafer:
The City of Cape Town's Sport, Recreation and Amenities Department has been installing new signage on its beaches which outines the rules regarding the presence of dogs.
High density beaches, where the highest number of beach users gather, have been identified and allocated as dog-free zones.
These dog-free zones will be implemented for the peak season as of 1st December 2012. To this end, the new signage clearly indicates the rules for that particular beach, especially related to dog-walking; and it will indicate the nearest dog-friendly beach if dogs are not permitted.
Although the key coastal recreation points vvhere the majority of people gather have been allocated as dog-free zones, the City has allocated areas adjacent to these beaches or small parts of these areas for people who wish to walk their dogs on the coastline. The middle section Hout Bay Beach, between the river and the old police station, is one of these areas and is a dog-friendly part of the beach. See Gallery >>
A memorial service for the two slain Houtbay police officers, Constable Pindiwe Nikani and Constable Mandisi Nduku, was held on Friday 19th of October 2012 at 10:00 at the Multi Purpose Hall, Karbonkel Rd, Hangberg, Hout Bay. Weekend Argus>>
A number of special invited guests attended including Mr Dan Plato, Mark Wylie, Gideon Morris, Martin Tenbrink, General Jafta and Marga Haywood. As always the Watchcon operators can be reached by radio, or on 021-790-9333 or by cell phone on 082-883-6142. See Gallery>>
021 790 9333
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021 791 9300 or 021 791 8660
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