Chopper saves gogo, kids

2012-09-08 00:00

A 92-YEAR-OLD woman and her 12- and 10-year-old grandchildren, who became trapped on an island in the swollen Tugela river by a flash flood yesterday and were rescued by a police helicopter after their frightening, cold, and wet ordeal, will forever be grateful.

Police rescued Gogo Shuphu Duma, Nonqube Duma (12) and Buyangani Kunene (10), who were crossing the river yesterday morning when they became trapped on an island surrounded by the raging waters.

Gogo Duma said she was going to the pension pay point across the river with her two granddaughters who were on their way to school.

She said while wading to the island, as they normally do to reach the other side of the river, the river was not high even though it was raining.

“But when we got to the other side of the island, the river started flooding and we got stuck there.

“When the helicopter came to rescue us, I got scared thinking what is this thing going to do to me, but I was happy and thankful that they helped me and my grandchildren.

“I will forever be grateful for what they have done for me. This is the only way for me to get to the pension pay point. I would be happy if a bridge could be built.”

Lieutenant Jack Haskins of the search and rescue unit said the helicopter was skilfully navigated onto the island and the three were helped aboard.

“We had to fly under the mist and the weather was not on our side. They were airlifted to dry land where their families were frantic with worry waiting for them.”

Teacher Snothi Mtshali, who notified police of the plight of the trio, said: “My neighbours came to me saying pupils and an elderly woman were trapped in the river and I started calling for help. They waited for more than five hours in the cold and rain … We were relieved to see the helicopter arriving.”


Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.