Teenager drowns in dam saving friend

2013-12-24 00:00

A 15-YEAR-OLD holiday-maker died while trying to save another teenager at Midmar Dam yesterday.

Mpho Mngomezulu from Johannesburg was swimming with another teenager at the dam, when the latter, who did not know how to swim, started to struggle in the water.

KZN Ezemvelo Wildlife spokesperson Musa Mntambo said eyewitnesses said Mpho realised that his friend was in trouble and so he tried to save him.

The teenager managed to make his way to safety but Mpho drowned, Mntambo said.

Mpho was a pupil at Willowmead Secondary and would have been in Grade 10 next year.

He and his guardian, who would only identify herself as Mrs Ndlovu, arrived in KwaZulu-Natal last Thursday and had been scheduled to stay until Friday.

Mrs Ndlovu, who was there when the tragedy happened, said Mpho had spotted that the teenager was in trouble.

“He saw that the other boy was struggling and was being swept away by the water.

“He tried to save him but instead he drowned.”

Mrs Ndlovu described Mpho as a humble boy.

Mpho is said to have ventured into an area beyond a swimming point.

A source said the drowning happened around 12.15 pm.

“It seems they were swimming and did not pay attention to the signs put up by the KZN Ezemvelo Wildlife.

“They went further than allowed. The water is shallow at first and then it goes deeper and that’s where the boy fell in,” said the source.

The source said it took the Pietermaritzburg Search and Rescue unit around eight minutes to pull the teenager’s body out of the dam.

“There are signs there but a child has just died, we cannot concern ourselves too much about whether or not [they saw] the sign,” said Mntambo.

SAPS spokesperson in Howick Lolly Moodley said the police had opened an inquest into the drowning.

“It seems they were swimming and did not pay attention to the signs put up by the KZN Ezemvelo Wildlife.”

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