3 toddlers almost drown - parents missing

2011-12-25 18:59

Johannesburg - Spring tides that the National Sea Rescue Institute warned of last week, were behind four near-drownings on South Africa's coastline on Christmas Day.

At Morgan's Bay in the Eastern Cape, a Free State holidaymaker, Kathleen Bradfield, was swept out to sea by strong rip-currents. The currents had been made stronger by spring tides having breached the wall of the local lagoon, making the rip-currents stronger, said NSRI spokesperson Craig Lambinon.

She was airlifted to hospital in a serious condition after being rescued.

At Richard's Bay, in KwaZulu-Natal, one of three children who fell in the water a stone's throw from the NSRI in the bay wall recreational area was found "breathless and pulseless".

NSRI medics restored the 5-year-old boy's pulse after ten minutes' treatment. He also started breathing again, but remained in a serious condition.

"The remaining two children, a 5-year-old male and a 3-year-old male, who had been rescued by bystanders, were showing signs and symptoms of near drowning," said Lambinon.

Parents

The trio was taken to hospital by ambulance.

"Police are attempting to track down the children's parents who were reportedly at the same recreational area at the time of the incident.

"But it appears that they may have borne no knowledge that their children were rescued and rushed to hospital as no one came forward to claim the children," he said.

"It is not clear what caused the children to get into difficult[y] ... but at the time the spring low tide had turned and the spring high tide was building up."

- SAPA
Read more on:    nsri  |  weather  |  drownings
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