Midmar Mile swimmer still not found

2011-02-16 13:32
Durban - The search for swimmer Nick Mellet who went missing during the 38th aQuelle Midmar Mile race continued on Wednesday, as race authorities cautioned the media against assuming he had drowned.

"The search is still continuing," said police spokesperson Warrant Officer Jack Haskins of the Pietermaritzburg canine unit.

Mellet, from Gauteng, disappeared during the second event of the opening of the Midmar Mile on Saturday.

It was discovered that he was missing when his coded tag did not register at the finish line.

Over 16 000 people entered the race, the largest open water swim in the world.

It is monitored by over 100 lifeguards and other water safety specialists.

Suspected heart attack

Race director Wayne Riddin cautioned journalists against assuming that Mellet had drowned.

"I am extremely disappointed in the reaction of many reporters to any reference of a drowning at the Midmar Mile. Until a body has been recovered and a reason for the disappearance be established, it is unfair to make assumptions at this point.

"There is more of a chance of a suspected heart-attack causing a situation like this, not a drowning," said Riddin

"The experienced people involved in the searching and recovery are among the best in the world and everything is being done to bring this incident to some sort of finality as soon as possible. We need to be sensitive and respect the family that is grieving at the moment."

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