Local saves girl in Cape surf
SUPERB fitness and instant reaction led to Richards Bay businessman Kenneth Hodgson being hailed the hero of a dramatic surf rescue in the Cape.
The incident took place late Sunday afternoon at Small Bay near Bloubergstrand.
Kenneth, well known in local surfing and triathlon circles, had just left the water after surfing with his son Mitchell, when they were alerted by cries from the beach.
‘Three young girls were being washed out into the ocean and a number of people set out to try and rescue them,’ said Kenneth.
‘One was slightly closer to shore and two were drifting further out.
‘I headed out on my board to the one who was the farthest away.’
Being trained, super fit and fast in the water, Kenneth soon reached the teen, known only as Bianca, who by this time was already floating face down in the water.
‘I pumped water from her lungs and she spewed it out then looked at me with wide eyes.
‘I managed to get her onto the surfboard and safely to the beach,’ said Kenneth, who bruised his foot in the process of exiting the rocks.
‘All I can say is that it was a miracle of time and place.
‘Seeing that young girl’s face after she came round made me realise how rewarding it makes one feel to do good and help out others. All I can remember is Bianca saying, with big eyes, ‘thank you’.’
Well known motivational speaker Craig Metrowich, who had first heard the cries of the girls and activated the rescue effort, was unstinting in his praise for the actions of Kenneth and the other two rescuers – one of whom swam back to shore with a victim clinging to his back.
All three teens have reportedly recovered fully from their near drowning experience and the incident has been conveyed to the Bravery Awards Committee of Lifesaving South Africa.
Popular in local surfing and sport sponsorship circles, Kenneth Hodgson pulled off a dramatic surf rescue on Sunday