/ 16 June 2011

Cop rescues UK skipper in Mthatha boating accident

A tourist visiting from the United Kingdom was plucked to safety by a reserve constable after being knocked unconscious when his boat capsized on the Mthatha Dam on Thursday, Eastern Cape police said.

Lieutenant Colonel Mzukisi Fatyela said 29-year-old Lewis Marks and five other people, also believed to be from the UK, had been sailing on the dam, popular in the area with watersport enthusiasts, on the Youth Day public holiday.

When the boat capsized, five people managed to swim to shore, but Marks was still on board and unconscious.

The boat had righted itself, but had started sinking, said Fatyela.

Twenty-six-year-old police reservist constable Chumani Jingqi was among the first on the scene and swam out to the boat to help Marks.

“He then swam with the man back to shore.”

Marks was taken to the Nelson Mandela Academic Hospital a few kilometres away and Fatyela said an update on his condition was expected later. — Sapa