Zanzibar hero sponsored first-aid training

Pro Dive Med Training owner Joe Kruger hands over the certificate to Mauritz van den Heever after his day-long rescue training at Pelican Island

MAURITZ van den Heever – a brave young Richards Bay man who rescued a South Korean tourist from drowning in Zanzibar in December – is now fully equipped to save many more lives, in or out of the ocean.

Pro Dive Med Training and Scuba Diving International together sponsored an internationally-recognised training course worth R2 000 to show the 20-year-old all the rescue ropes – from performing first aid and CPR to using an automated external defibrillator.

The training took place on Saturday from 8am until 4pm at Pelican Island.

Joe shows Mauritz how to perform CPR on a patient

‘We decided to sponsor Mauritz after hearing about the incident as he is clearly gifted having successfully resuscitated a person without any former CPR training,’ said Pro Dive director and paramedic, Joe Kruger.

‘It was very fortunate indeed – reviving a patient is not always guaranteed.

‘I was also impressed that in a situation where most people tend to freeze, he jumped in and did what his common sense told him.’

As suspected, Mauritz was a natural, acing both the technical and practical training, and walking away with certificate in hand before the end of the day.

‘I have been really excited about this course. The training was fantastic!

‘I sincerely thank Joe and Scuba Diving International for the sponsorship.’

Mauritz (in yellow) trying every trick in the book to revive drowned victim Mr Uu in Zanzibar on 13 December

Surprising reunion with victim

Only two weeks after bringing Mr Uu back to life on a boat in Zanzibar, the South Korean family made contact with the Van den Heevers to meet them for dinner on New Year’s eve in Cape Town.

It turned out they were part of a South Korean tour group who did a 31-day tour of Africa.

‘We were in Storms River when we received the phone call,’ said Mauritz.

‘They invited us for dinner in Cape Town, and we accepted!

‘The next morning we left before sunrise to undertake the 600km journey.

‘We had dinner with them at the Lord Charles Hotel.

‘The language barrier was huge challenge, but overall it was an amazing experience.

‘Mr Uu gave a short speech in Korean to thank me for saving his life, and that he would not be here today if it wasn’t for me.

‘It was an unforgettable eventful night – at one point Mr Packt pulled out his harmonica and played a beautiful version of Hey Jude in the fancy restaurant!’

Over New Year, Mauritz enjoyed a surprising reunion with Mr and Mrs Uu


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Mia Moorcroft

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