'It was a perfect story' — Volunteer on helping deliver a baby on Camps Bay beach
City of Cape Town Disaster Risk Management Centre (DRMC) volunteer Marylin Afrika has attributed the safe delivery of a baby girl at Camps Bay beach to quick thinking, training and calmness.
The baby girl, now fondly known as the “beach baby”, was delivered on January 2.
Speaking to TimesLIVE on Thursday, Afrika said the DRMC team was alerted about a woman in labour by a staff member of Identikidz, a programme that reunites missing children with their parents at Cape Town beaches.
Afrika with Rahdee Salie, Judith Henn and Aaliyah Anthony assessed the mother and found the baby was already crowning.
“We got to the scene and found the lady standing and assured her we were there to offer assistance. She was in a standing position and I had to go down on my knees and noticed the baby was crowning. The head was coming out already,” she said.
Afrika said the medically-trained team supported the mother while she helped her deliver the baby and cut the umbilical cord before the ambulance could arrive.
“I asked the mother to help me help her. When I say she must push, she needs to push so the baby can come out in a standing position. Thank God the baby came out and we moved to put her down before we could cut the umbilical cord,” she said.
Afrika said the mother was in good health after the delivery and assessment of her vital signs.
“We are well trained and we were calm to best assist the mother. If I was not calm, she could have felt the tension. I was very calm and comfortable with what I was doing. It was a perfect story,” she said.
Afrika said she checked on the mother and child on Tuesday and they are both doing well at home.
The city’s mayoral committee member for safety and security, Alderman JP Smith commended the team for their performance.
“Our teams are on duty every day over the holiday season for any emergency and to assist beachgoers. This new year surprise has provided a little extra festive cheer. We commend our volunteers for staying cool under pressure and helping the mom give birth,” said Smith.
He said the city witnessed a similar incident in the same area five years ago.
“Our staff have quite the track record in helping bring new life into the world. It’s just more than five years ago now that two other Disaster Management staff members also helped deliver a baby in the Camps Bay area just before Christmas.
“On that occasion, it was a boy who was named after one of the staff members. Well done to all,” said Smith.