Search continues for missing Hout Bay surfer

Search continues for a missing Hout Bay surfer continues

At around 3.30pm on Thursday an Air Mercy Service Skymed rescue helicopter was sweeping the ocean searching for the missing surfer. Picture: Karen Watkins

The search continues for Ryder Kossatz, 17, who was swept away in sea currents at the Sandy Bay parking area in Llandudno on Wednesday.

The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) is appealing to the public and seafarers along the Atlantic seaboard, in particular between Camps Bay and Hout Bay, to be the lookout for an NSRI pink rescue buoy that may have washed out along the shoreline or may be adrift at sea.

It is believed that the rescue buoy, stationed at Llandudno, was thrown towards the missing teenager, according to NSRI spokesman, Craig Lambinon. But it appears that Ryder had not managed to reach the rescue buoy before he disappeared.

On Thursday, Hout Bay station commander, Lieutenant-Colonel Jerome Syster, said the search is being led by the police’s dive unit.

Mr Lambinon said NSRI Hout Bay and Bakoven duty crews were activated following eye-witness reports of the teenager being caught in rip currents after he was swept off rocks in Llandudno below the Sandy Bay parking area.

Mr Lambinon said the police dive unit was activated and accompanied by the emergency medical services rescue squad drone unit, Hout Bay police and NSRI. He said an extensive search using a rescue drone with thermal imaging camera technology, and shoreline patrols were continued into the night.

The surfer was last seen in heavy sea surf about 300 to 400 metres off-shore, according to Mr Lambinon.

He said it appears that Ryder had been in shallow surf on rocks on the shoreline with friends. “Reportedly a wave may have swept him off his feet. We believe he had attempted to swim with sea currents to escape the rocky shoreline,” said Mr Lambinon.

Llandudno Life Saving Club captain, Peter Kirkland, said he was at the base on the beach when the rescue began. He said police drones were used after divers could not go out because big swells made it too dangerous.

Mr Kirkland said he did not know Ryder personally but he was a Nipper, a junior life saver, for about four years learning the basics about the ocean. He said Ryder gave up when he went to high school, otherwise at age 14 or 15 years of age he could have done active duty saving lives in the ocean. “With this big swell, ocean temperature and no wetsuit, it’s very sad,” said Mr Kirkland.

At around 3.30pm on Thursday an Air Mercy Service Skymed rescue helicopter was sweeping the ocean searching for the missing surfer.

If the pink rescue buoy is spotted adrift at sea or if spotted washed up on the shoreline, call the NSRI emergency number 087 094 9774. Also plot the position or provide an accurate description of where the missing pink buoy is found.

Telkom Maritime Radio Services, in co-operation with the Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC), Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) and SAPS are broadcasting an all-ships alert for vessels in the area along the Atlantic seaboard to be on the lookout for the missing pink rescue buoy.

Mr Lambinon said that the hope is that once the missing pink buoy is located this will assist to determine the drift of the sea that appears to have had no normal drift patterns on the day due to extensively rough sea conditions that prevailed on Wednesday and into Thursday and may lead to assisting helping police in their ongoing search to locate missing Ryder Kossatz.

The family have extended their heartfelt thanks to all for the overwhelming support they have received since Ryder went missing. They have respectfully requested privacy in this difficult time.

“Thoughts are with the family and friends of the missing teenager in this difficult time,” said Mr Lambinon.

A 9-year-old child was swept off the rocks at Sandy Bay on the afternoon of Sunday July 2. The young boy, from Hout Bay, was with friends and relatives when the incident occurred, according to the NSRI.

Llandudno Beach is a rip tide zone.
Ryder Kossatz was a Nipper at Llandudno Beach, a junior life saver, for about four years, learning the basics about the ocean.