Festive season crime dip in Eastern Cape welcomed

Litter lined the beachfront from King’s Beach all the way to the Summerstrand on New Year’s Day.

A noticeable reduction in crime in the Eastern Cape has been welcomed at the start of 2020.

While more than 100 road deaths had occurred across the province since December 1, fewer crime incidents were reported than in previous years, according to police, while a number of other emergencies were reported.

Drownings and sea rescue

A surfer drowned in Cape St Francis on Christmas Day, despite efforts by the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) to resuscitate him.

According to spokesperson Craig Lambinon, the NSRI was alerted to a surfer in trouble at Seal Point at 4.20pm.

The NSRI rescue crew, as well as a doctor, ambulance, Kouga municipal lifeguards and the SAPS immediately rushed to the scene.

“On arrival, it was found that a local man, a regular surfer in the area, had washed onto the rocks after experiencing difficulty in the surf,” Lambinon said.

“A group of young surfers had pulled him ashore and attempted to perform CPR.”

The doctor arrived and continued with the rescue efforts, to no avail.

“Sadly, despite extensive efforts to resuscitate him, he was declared dead on the scene,” Lambinon said.

An inquest docket had been opened.

In separate incidents in Port Alfred and Jeffreys Bay, two tourists were rescued when they encountered problems while participating in extreme sports.

At the Bushman’s River near Port Alfred, a 20-year-old holidaymaker from Limpopo  was injured while skiing.

“He was treated secured to a stretcher and brought back downstream aboard our sea rescue craft and transported to hospital, where he is in a stable condition,” Lambinon said.

In Jeffreys Bay, shortly before 3pm on December 31, the duty crew and a Guardmed ambulance rushed to a waterfall on the Kabeljous River, where a 33-year-old woman, a South African now living in the Netherlands, had sustained an injury.

“The patient was secured onto a stretcher and hiked to a waiting ambulance, where she was transported to hospital in a stable condition.”

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