Rescue team saves newborn from depths of pit toilet

2017-01-30 10:51
Pietermaritzburg K9 Search and Rescue team heroes (from left) Sergeant Nolan Wallace, Warrant Officer Ian Cowley, Warrant Officer Karl Gous and Sergeant Frederick Brand stand near their police van outside Grey’s Hospital after rescuing a newborn baby from a long drop toilet on Saturday.

Pietermaritzburg K9 Search and Rescue team heroes (from left) Sergeant Nolan Wallace, Warrant Officer Ian Cowley, Warrant Officer Karl Gous and Sergeant Frederick Brand stand near their police van outside Grey’s Hospital after rescuing a newborn baby from a long drop toilet on Saturday. (Chelsea Pieterse)

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Pietermaritzburg - The city's K9 Search and Rescue team heroically saved the life of a newborn baby from the dank depths of a long drop toilet in Mafakathini on Saturday.

The rescue team had received a panicked call from the grandmother of the newborn boy on Saturday morning, telling them the infant had fallen into the pit after his mother went into labour, supposedly without her realising this.

Pietermaritzburg police spokesperson Sergeant Mthokozisi Ngobese said the team received the distress call at around 08:00, however, reports from the family indicated that the baby had been at the bottom of the long drop since 06:30.

Ngobese said when the team arrived, one of the members looked down into the pit and saw the baby, still alive, at the bottom. He said the baby was lying on his side, with his face half covered in the sewage water.

The team lowered one of its members, Warrant Officer Ian Cowley, down into the long drop because he was the slenderest of the men there. He waded through the raw sewage to get to the silent newborn.

After gently picking up the baby from the narrow pit, Cowley was hoisted back up by his team members.

The Search and Rescue team cleaned the baby’s face, clearing his nose, eyes and ears, and then rushed him from Mafakathini to Grey’s Hospital, accompanied by the baby’s mother.

Ngobese said the baby was stabilised and immediately taken through to the neonatal intensive care unit (Nicu) at Grey’s.

It is thought that the baby was booked into the Nicu due to problems with his lungs but that with the proper care, he would survive.

Ngobese said uMgungundlovu South cluster commander Major General Phumelele Makoba congratulated the team on their quick work, and said that if it had not been for the actions of the rescue team, the baby might not have survived.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  good news  |  search and rescue

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