Jeffreys Bay search resumes for missing girl

2014-12-08 07:39


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Johannesburg - A search resumed on Monday morning for a girl who went missing in a lagoon at the Seekoei River, in Jeffreys Bay, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) said.

Jeffreys Bay station commander Rieghard Janse van Rensburg said: "At 14:00 Sunday... NSRI Jeffreys Bay duty crew were activated following reports of a drowning in progress in the lagoon at the Seekoei River, Jeffreys Bay, between Aston Bay and Paradise Beach.

"NSRI Jeffreys Bay rescue swimmers responded... to the scene and our sea rescue vehicle, the SA Police Service, local lifeguards, traffic services, private care ambulance services, and East Cape government health EMS responded."

On arrival, it was discovered a 12-year-old girl had gone missing in the lagoon when she and another 12-year-old girl reportedly ran into the lagoon while playing.

Church group

It was believed they were wading in shallow water which suddenly got deeper, with neither girl able to swim.

Finding themselves in a deep section, one girl had managed to get back to shallow water, but the other girl disappeared under water.

"They are part of a church group of children, parents, and church elders from Humansdorp that had bussed to the Seekoei Nature Reserve camp site at the lagoon for the day," said Van Rensburg.

"The female survivor was transported to hospital as a precautionary measure by EMS ambulance for observation for secondary drowning although in a stable condition and she was released from hospital later."

NSRI rescue swimmers formed a line search in the lagoon and free diving in the deeper sections, joined by concerned members of the public and emergency services who conducted searches along the lagoon banks.

Trauma counsellors for family

"A sea rescue Jeffreys Bay volunteer is also a police pilot and he volunteered his private fixed wing aeroplane to assist in the search. Accompanied by NSRI spotters, an air search was conducted," he said.

"Later, after still no sign of the child could be found, police divers joined in the search but despite the extensive air, water, and shoreline search by 20:40, with no sign of the child... the search was suspended."

The NSRI resumed the search at 05:00 on Monday morning, with police divers to join the search later in the morning.

Police trauma counsellors were assisting the family and police had opened an investigation.

Read more on:    nsri  |  east london  |  drownings

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