He died saving my life – drowning survivor on teen hero

2016-03-08 11:27
(NSRI website)

(NSRI website)

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Durban - A survivor of a drowning incident at Margate beach where three teenagers lost their lives on a school outing on Saturday said one of the boys died after he had saved others.

An unnamed pupil of Bongumusa High School in Swayimane told the daily that 17-year-old Siyanda Buthelezi had saved her life, The Mercury reported on Tuesday.

She told the daily two other children were also drowning and "he went [back in] to save them afterwards".

The NSRI's Shelly Beach duty crew responded to eyewitness reports of a "multiple drowning in progress" at 18:20 on Saturday, News24 reported.

Spokesperson Craig Lambinon said the group of pupils accompanied by teachers and their principal from a Pietermaritzburg school were at the beach on a school outing.

Two teenagers, Zanele Zidima and Nomvula Zondi, both 16, were declared dead at the scene when police Search and Rescue teams pulled them out of the water, The Witness reported.

The drownings happened at about 17:30, after the lifeguards had finished their shifts.

Parents fuming

It is believed that six children were seen to be in difficulty while they were playing in the water.

Two Witbank holidaymakers had been driving in the vicinity when they noticed a group of children in deep water being swept out to sea by a rip current, towards rocks.

Siyanda’s brother Lucky told The Mercury that many people have said his brother had saved other children from drowning.

Siyanda had been seen floating face down in the water. His family was still awaiting news of his body on Monday, which has not been found, but he is presumed drowned.

The father of Nomvula claimed the teachers had left the children to go drinking, The Mercury reported.

He claimed teachers "could not hear him" when he tried to call them, and had later turned their phones off. He also claimed the headmaster asked him not to speak to the media after news of the drownings broke.

Department spokesperson Sicelo Khuzwayo said the department is waiting to piece together the information before commenting, the daily added.

Read more on:    nsri  |  durban  |  drownings

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