Saru sends condolences to Motherwell Rugby Club

2012-03-26 07:13

The South African Rugby Union (Saru) sent its condolences to the Motherwell Rugby Club after one of its players drowned and five of his teammates were missing yesterday.

“I have spoken to the president of Eastern Province Kings rugby union and members of the community today and this is a devastating tragedy,” Saru president Oregan Hoskins said.

Earlier yesterday the National Sea Rescue Institute said it had rescued 15 of 21 people who had been swept out by rip currents earlier in the day.

“Not all of them were rugby players,” said spokesperson Craig Lambinon.

Some of the 21 were members of the public.

The rescue team was alerted of the incident at around midday.

An extensive search had been launched to find the missing men.

Lambinon said three sea rescue craft, rescue rubber-ducks, a jet-ski, and a helicopter was utilised in the search.

Lifeguards were also swimming to check for them.

By yesterday afternoon, Lambinon said there was no sign of the five.

Lifeguard’s from the beach’s life saving club had swam out to help when the incident took place.

“Some of the lifeguards had rescued up to three people at a time,” said Lambinon.

“Of the 15 people rescued alive none were required to go to hospital although some were treated for shock and near drowning symptoms on the beach by paramedics.”

The deceased’s body has been handed to the Forensic Pathology Service.

Police have opened an inquest docket.

Hoskins said: “These young men were preparing to compete in a Saru Easter Tournament in Cape Town in a fortnight and were enjoying a carefree day on the beach with their teammates.

“To have their afternoon turned into a day of tragedy is shocking for the whole rugby community and our thoughts and prayers go out to their families.”

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