Family's fatal plunge into harbour probed

2012-07-17 12:31
Police divers retrieve the car in which a father and his two young sons drowned after plunging into Richards Bay habour. (Lenard Dupper, The Witness)

Police divers retrieve the car in which a father and his two young sons drowned after plunging into Richards Bay habour. (Lenard Dupper, The Witness)

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Richards Bay - A father and his two young sons died when their car plunged into the Richards Bay harbour on Monday afternoon.

The mother, who was in a severe state of shock following the incident, was at the local police station on Monday night, assisting police with their inquiries.

It is alleged that the family - father, mother and two boys - had attempted to gain access to the back of the port at 13:00, but were turned away by security guard Smangele Mkhize. “I told them they are not allowed to enter here unless they have a permit,” he said.

However, he said, they returned an hour later, this time without the mother, and went over the edge into the water.

The mother will on Tuesday be asked to identify the bodies, after which post-mortems would be done, said police.

Colonel Jay Naicker said officers were informed of the incident at 15:00.


“Police divers were dispatched to the scene and recovered the bodies of an adult male and two young boys,” he said.

Netcare911 spokesperson Chris Botha said paramedics had tried to revive the children, who they estimated had been in the water for about 20 minutes. He said children often survive even after some time in water, especially if the water is cold. However, both the boys were declared dead at the scene.

Police divers had also searched for a woman’s body for a few hours, as earlier reports had indicated that a complete family had been in the car.

The family’s Toyota Tazz was thereafter recovered from the water.

The incident happened on a part of the Waterfront which is owned by Transnet, and which backs onto warehouses and offices.

Naicker told The Witness that the police would release the names of the dead once all family members have been informed of the tragedy.

He said police were investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident, and it was unclear if it was deliberate or an accident.

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