Twelve-year-old Daniel Kellond was on his surfboard offshore, waiting for his friends at Hout Bay Beach, when he heard a scream in the distance.
It was then that he noticed a child in difficulty close to the rocks on the Chapman’s Peak end of the beach.
“At first I thought the boy was playing, but then he started screaming more and more, and that is when I decided to go and help,” Daniel said.
He quickly got onto his stomach and paddled frantically towards the child.
“The boy had jumped in from the rocks and probably did not know how deep it is. I was very nervous when I saw him, but I knew I had to do something to help.”
From above, Daniel’s mother, Beccy, was watching her son in the water when suddenly she noticed him racing towards the rocks.
“I saw he was focused on something at the rocks side. I couldn’t see too well from where I was standing, but then I saw a man racing down the hill screaming, ‘There is a kid in trouble!’ And that is when I started going closer,” Ms Kellond said.
Meanwhile, Daniel was the first to arrive and he grabbed the boy and pulled him onto his board.
“It was very difficult as he was clearly in panic mode, but I kept asking him to calm down otherwise he was going to make it difficult for both of us,” Daniel said. Daniel is a Llandudno Surf Lifesaving Club nipper and said his mother.
“We were always taught to calm the person down as it makes rescuing the person much easier. The person can actually end up drowning the person doing the rescuing because of panic. So I tried my best to calm him down at that time.”
Ms Kellond said a group of people had gathered on the rocks to assist, and she had later seen Daniel paddling away from the scene, looking for his next wave.
“He managed to rescue this boy, put him back onto the rocks and then continued surfing and waited for his friends. I am so proud of him and he actually saved somebody’s life.”
Daniel is the third Llandudno Surf Lifesaving Club member to come to someone’s aid in the past month. James Davis Brorson, 16, and Josh Grieveson, 17, were involved in two separate rescues at Llandudno Beach.
Nippers officer, Paul Broxis, said: “I’m very proud of Daniel, who like many of our nippers has developed such a level of comfort in the ocean that they can look after themselves very well and also offer assistance to others if required.”
He added: “I am sure our other nippers (8-14 years) will be hugely inspired by Daniel’s actions and we look forward to the new lifesaving season where we can continue to build these kids’ awareness and confidence in the sea – who knows when these skills will come in handy next.”
For Daniel, it was just another day out at sea as after the rescue, his friends eventually arrived and they enjoyed time on the waves.
“I put the boy back on the rocks and thankfully he was okay and he just took a few moments to catch his breath, but he was okay. It could have been worse, but I am glad he is fine,” Daniel said.
“The training I received was very helpful during this entire incident.I will encourage all those who have floating devices, when you see somebody in distress, don’t think twice and go and help. It’s a life you can save, and, who knows, you might end up needing such help one day.”