News24

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."

Comments
  • Brodie84 - 2011-02-16 13:44

    Is it not possible that he swam to the shore half way and went home? Sure they would have found a body. You don't just sink.

      hf44083 - 2011-02-16 14:01

      How do you swim to shore "half way" there is no shore "half way" in the dam - you have to swim all the way to the shore !

      willie werkie - 2011-02-16 14:03

      Wouldn't somebody have mentioned to him that people are searching for him?

      TheBigCoach - 2011-02-16 14:04

      idiot

      Brodie84 - 2011-02-16 14:11

      Sorry hf44083. What I meant was that he could have given up the swim half way (in the middle of the dam) and swam to shore. Better? :)

      boreas - 2011-02-16 14:16

      @hf44083 it is possible to swim to shore halfway as you swim close to the Western shore during the whole race. @Brodie84 His family that went with him to the race does not know where he is, so it is highly unlikely that he went home.

      labrat - 2011-02-16 14:20

      @ hf44083 you have never been at the midmar swim event. When you are half way you are closer to shore than to the finish line.

      Rainbow1 - 2011-02-16 14:28

      @hf44083: Actually there is a "half way" since the race route cuts across a cove and is parallel to shoreline for most of the 1600m.

      sean - 2011-02-16 14:29

      I said the same thing yesterday.

  • Brodie84 - 2011-02-16 14:11

    Willie werkie - Maybe he one the lottery and wants to be left alone :)

  • Bla Bla - 2011-02-16 14:14

    please put this man's name in the news, so that the public can help

      suspiciousme - 2011-02-16 14:58

      Bla Bla - because you are sooooo special…. Midmar Mile swimmer still not found 2011-02-16 13:32 Related Links Man missing at Midmar Mile Midmar Mile swimmer search continues Midmar Mile swimmer still missing 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.

  • theedougler - 2011-02-16 14:21

    Not saying this is the case, but it sounds like an easy life insurance scam - give someone else your bracelet, they let it sink during their swim, and you are presumed "drowned".

      Made_In_SA - 2011-02-16 15:21

      Ooooh don't say that theedougler, I raised a few tempers yesterday when I asked if there isn't a possibility that this wasn't a mere "drowning" and could be of another nature...I was shot down in flames and my comments got deleted..

      cila.decaprio - 2011-02-16 16:10

      I am thinking along the same lines. While I do feel lots of sympathy for the family, I can't help but shake the feeling that this is a scam...

  • Ignobilis - 2011-02-16 14:22

    A dead body does sink. It only floats again after a number of days due to gas build-up from decomposition. A sudden heart attack or stroke is probably the most likely scenario, because anyone who raised an arm, or grabbed someone close to them to get help, would get assistance immediately in the Midmar Mile. It is possible in the Midmar Mile to "swim to the shore" during the course of the race, because the race takes place across a bay with a bank alongside relatively close by, but from what I understand sniffer dogs searched the banks to try and pick up his scent and found nothing.

      Owen - 2011-02-16 14:34

      This is day 5. Is 3 days about the average before a body will rise to the surface.

  • suspiciousme - 2011-02-16 14:35

    BLa Bla - especially for you. Midmar Mile swimmer still not found 2011-02-16 13:32 Related Links Man missing at Midmar Mile Midmar Mile swimmer search continues Midmar Mile swimmer still missing 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.

  • Owen - 2011-02-16 14:45

    There are life guards on surf skis and knee boards every 40 m (aprox.) on either side of the race channel.keeping a close watch on the swimmers. There are a number of boats and a jet ski up and down the course throughout the race. There are life guards on boogie boards in amongst the swimmers for the first 200m (aprox.). About 2000 people swam in that event, taking off in 5 batches. This guy took off in the middle batch so there were swimmers all around him however far he swam. According to reports he was a fit, reasonably strong swimmer who had trained for the event. I don't believe he is in the dam! I acknowledge that anything is possible and I could be wrong but it just doesn't calculate with me!

      Made_In_SA - 2011-02-16 15:24

      Owen I also queried an "alternate" to what is being reported... but sadly people thought I was being an ass, I am waiting to see what comes of this story, as I find it very suspicious that a body hasn't been recovered already... considering Midmar doesn't have huge amounts of underwater structure like most dams do...

  • bar-one - 2011-02-16 14:49

    Is it my imagination or are these comments getting stupid. Some real prize dumb-asses trawling the net these days

  • Charles - 2011-02-16 15:18

    That is correct Brodie84 it takes the human body 3 days to float to the top, so yes by this stage he should have been found, unless something is holding him down, that is if he drowned etc. People need to understand something you can swim to a shoreline as the dam wall in close enough to do that but if you did a lifeguard would have seen you swim of course and help you... You are all easily enough to make comments like he doesn’t want to be found etc,,, start acting like humans and consider the family that this is affecting...

  • Charles - 2011-02-16 15:23

    That is correct Brodie84 it takes the human body 3 days to float to the top, so yes by this stage he should have been found, unless something is holding him down, that is if he drowned etc. People need to understand something you can swim to a shoreline as the dam wall in close enough to do that but if you did a lifeguard would have seen you swim of course and help you... You are all easily enough to make comments like he doesn’t want to be found etc,,, start acting like humans and consider the family that this is affecting...

  • David - 2011-02-16 15:41

    WOW!!!!!!!!Some of the guys, please have some respect for Nick's family and friends, because we are all busy grieving at the moment and it's a sad time for us all right now. I got confirmation that his body was found at around 14:00. I'm one of Nick's work colleagues and I got the confirmation from our company just incase you don't believe me.

      Podgette - 2011-02-16 19:03

      Wonder why, as at 7pm, there has not been an announcement that the body has been found. Sjoe that is 5 hours later. Have been listening to ECR news and NOTHING!

  • rokur - 2011-02-16 15:51

    Riddin cautions journalists against assuming, and then assumes himself. The BIG problem is as with Fran Crippen, that someone went missing. Because no matter if it was drowning or a heart-attack, the chances of survival would be much higher, if they found the guy. Put a "sinking alarm" on everyone, or let them wear some kind of (small) life vest.

      Tracy - 2011-02-16 16:54

      Have you ever tried swimming a race in a life vest. Don't think so otherwise you wouldn't make such strange suggestions. As everyone has said there are so many people around you and lifeguards all the way, so it's hard to understand how someone could just disappear - certainly not a normal occurence with this being the first time it has every happened in all the years of the midmar mile. I really feel for his family not knowing what happened.

      rokur - 2011-02-16 18:43

      I wasn't thinking of an actual full-size life vest, but some kind of small flotation device, or just a wetsuit, as it only takes a little bit of flotation to make a swimmer float (usually between 0 and 5 kg). Here in the North Atlantic, we have to swim in 5-7 mm scuba wetsuits because of the 7 degrees C 'warm' water. I've tried it myself, and it is impossible to sink. Had to actually put weights on my wife, to get her feet in the water. So yes, I've tried to swim a race in a life vest.

  • qtpiejen - 2011-02-16 16:12

    I knew him personally, you guys are insensitive imagine it was your father, and you have these wonderful people saying things about insurance claims. just so you know, his body was found

      Tracy - 2011-02-16 16:56

      Glad to hear they have found his body. At least it brings closure for his friends and family. Very very sad occurence. I swam in the same race in the group behind him, and it's hard to understand how he could disappear with no one noticing. Hope they release the details for all of us who have been concerned about his well being since Saturday.

  • qtpiejen - 2011-02-16 16:14

    where are you big mouths now hey? i hope you feel like a down right chop i'm disgusted

      Podgette - 2011-02-16 19:06

      Wish the media would confirm this - as at 7pm still nothing and I am sure many people would like to know. Happy that the family can now have closure though.

  • qtpiejen - 2011-02-17 09:15

    it was released on the news report on the radio at 14h00 yesterday, so no foul play people, its like there are a bunch of you looking for a bit of excitement at the expense of the tragic death of a man, its disgusting, like i said before, Imagine it was your family member, would you scream foul play then. your obviously extremely bored in your own lives to have to try dissect a situation like this for a bit of entertainment

      Mellethead - 2011-02-19 08:49

      Thank you to qtpiejen for defending Nick and his family. To all those who were so heartless to post comments about a possible insurance scam, people not just disappearing, foul play, etc - I hope you are hanging your heads in shame. Imagine sitting on the other side of the world and getting a phone call that your brother is "missing" after the Midmar Mile. It's a reality people - because my husband and I got that call last Saturday in Canada. For those whose lives are so boring that you have to speculate at other people's misfortune, I feel sorry for you. To all those who defended Nick and the family - our heartfelt thanks. I would not wish this tragedy on anyone.

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