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Brit banker on surf-ski drowns after being swept out to sea by high winds as he ‘fought to the bitter end’


THE devastated family of a British banker who drowned after being swept out to sea on surf ski kayak said he “fought to the bitter end”.

Dad-of-one Rod Johnston, 46, had gone out for an afternoon paddle at popular tourist beach Camps Bay near Cape Town, before being swept away by waves in high winds.

Rod Johnston, 46, was swept away by high winds at Camps Bay near Cape Town[/caption]
Jamie Pyatt News Ltd
The dad-of-one with his wife Debbie[/caption]

The dad-of-one from Dundee went out on Friday afternoon when the sea was quite still as he was a novice on a surf-ski.

But when he failed to turn up on an evening appointment, a search and rescue operation was launched.

Johnston’s surf-ski was spotted adrift five miles out to sea the following day.

His body was still attached to the craft by a short safety line and he had his lifejacket on but there was no sign of his paddle.

Johnston’s wife Debbie, 50, said: “I don’t think we will ever know the full answer to what exactly happened out there.  Whatever happened was awful and is something Rod takes to the grave with him. 

He would have kept on fighting for sure until the very end.

Debbie Johnston

“It was an advanced surf-ski which is very narrow and very light and really only meant for advanced paddlers but unfortunately the weather changed and the seas got very big. 

“It would seem he was swept out to sea and the NSRI told me that he most likely capsized and lost his paddle and if you are not an advanced paddler then you are in big trouble. 

“Without a paddle and as a novice they said it would be almost impossible to get back in the surf-ski but Rod would have fought and fought to the bitter end to try and save his life. 

“He was a very fit man and ran every day and played squash four days a week and was a very strong man so he would have kept on fighting for sure until the very end.”

Jamie Pyatt News Ltd
Mr Johnston with his 24-year- old son Dean[/caption]
Jamie Pyatt News Ltd
“Rod would have fought and fought to the bitter end,” his wife said[/caption]
Jamie Pyatt News Ltd
Johnston’s surf-ski was spotted adrift five miles out to sea[/caption]

The couple met at work in South Africa, were together for 30 years and have a son Dean, aged 24. 

His wife Debbie added: “I had 30 wonderful years with Rod and he was just the most amazing individual and so loving and caring although he did have a very sarcastic side to him! 

“Dean and I are just devastated and cannot believe we will not see him again.”



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