Swimmer's body found

2011-02-17 00:00

WEDDING dreams for Joanne Cackett, the fiancée of Nick Mellet, have been shattered following the discovery of his body after he had disappeared on Saturday while competing in the 38th aQuelle Midmar Mile.

The couple were planning to tie the knot in the next two months.

The discovery brought an end to a five-day search for Mellet who apparently drowned while participating in the second swimming event, which saw corporate organisations competing.

He was swimming alongside his colleagues after completing his first 1 200 m qualifying event.

The couple had been dating for 12 years.

The distraught family members were hesitant to speak to the media because they were still exhausted from the stressful wait during the five-day search, but Jack Haskins, an officer with the Pietermaritzburg dog unit persuaded them to describe Mellet.

The raw emotions of their loss was written on both the faces of Cackett and Kerry Mellet, sister-in-law of the deceased.

Cackett said, “He was a loving, free-spirited and fun guy who was always positive and never saw anything negative in others.”

She described Mellet as an enthusiast who enjoyed participating in a variety of sporting codes within the corporate environment.

“Nick was a healthy person and was optimistic about participating in the race,” she said.

Mellet worked at Polyoak Packaging, a plastic manufacturing company based in Gauteng, for 11 years and had been a dairy sales manager.

Andre Mellet, his brother, said, “Even though his body has been recovered, I will only have closure once the post-mortem results have disclosed.

“ … I want know exactly what the cause of his death was so that I can be at peace.”

He said his brother had been swimming with his friends for 100 metres before he struck out and swam ahead of them.

When Mellet’s body was recovered he was still wearing a yellow swimming cap, but his body had was decomposed after being under water since Sunday morning.

Haskins said yesterday’s search was frustrating. They started doing a visual search at 5:30 am and it dragged on until they stopped for lunch.

“When we resumed the search we spotted a floating body approximately 400 m from the start along the embankment.”

“We are satisfied that we were able to give the family closure,” Haskins added.

Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Joey Jeevan said the circumstances surrounding the incident are being investigated.

A post-mortem will be held to determine the exact cause of death, she added.

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