At least four drownings, 11 near drownings reported

2014-01-02 00:00

AT least four drownings and 11 near drownings were reported in various beaches and complex swimming pools around Durban and the South Coast on Tuesday and yesterday. No drowning incidents could be officially confirmed by Durban’s Parks and Recreation by late yesterday afternoon.

• A woman drowned in a complex at Shelly Beach. Netcare 911 paramedics said they found the woman lying next to a swimming pool at the complex after bystanders took her out. She was declared dead on the scene.

• A man in his fifties drowned yesterday morning at Ramsgate Beach. Netcare paramedics said the man was caught in a current and got swept out to sea. Lifeguards pulled him back to shore but he had stopped breathing. Advanced life support resuscitation was immediately started and paramedics worked for about 40 minutes to try and revive the holiday maker.

Despite all the efforts the man was declared dead on the scene.

• At Amanzimtoti, a four-year-old boy died on arrival at a local hospital after he had to be rescued from a pool, according to Netcare paramedics.

• Meanwhile, a 17-year-old is in a serious but stable condition with near-drowning symptoms after he was swept out to sea on the Durban South Beach on Tuesday morning.

Netcare spokesperson Chris Botha said the lifeguards swam out to rescue the teen after he and some of his friends were caught in a current. Netcare 911 paramedics arrived at the scene and assisted the teen who had already swallowed a lot of sea water. After he was stabilised, they transported him to a local hospital for further treatment.

• Lifeguards also had to rush to the rescue when a group of 10 people nearly drowned at the same beach yesterday.

Mike Raubenheimer, chairperson of Lifesaving KZN, said the men experienced difficulty in the water simultaneously. He said lifeguards swung into action after noticing the group in distress.

• A 22-year-old man is missing at sea, presumed to have drowned yesterday afternoon at Tiger Rocks beach in Isipingo Beach on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast. Reports indicate that the man and some friends were swimming when they were caught in a rip current and pulled out to sea. Lifeguards managed to pull one man out of the water but the other man disappeared below the surface. Netcare 911 paramedics and the police search and rescue, as well as a lifeguard boat, searched the area for some time but were unable to locate the swimmer, said Chris Botha.

eThekwini Municipality communications director Tozi Mthethwa said complete statistics for how many people were on the beaches yesterday and incidents of missing children could only be released today.

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