Missing at sea off south coast beach

2012-02-10 00:00

POLICE are looking for the family of a person who got lost at sea off Port Shesptone beach yesterday morning. According to an eyewitness, NSRI volunteer Neil Vercueil, the paddler was spotted and believed to be in trouble at around 7.30 am.

“The paddler was over a kilometre out to sea and the paddle ski had overturned,” he said.

Vercueil said the sea conditions were not very rough. “It was pretty calm. The wind is starting to pick up now, but when I spotted the paddler it was calm.”

The paddler disappeared under the water and the paddleski and oars drifted with the wind.

Police search and rescue members and NSRI crew started the search for the paddler at around 8.30 am. Netcare 911 paramedics were also on the scene. On shore, police detectives ran checks on the vehicles parked on the beach to track down the identity of the paddler.

Lieutenant-Colonel Zandra Wiid said: “Unfortunately none of the vehicles belonged to the paddler. “It is unknown at this stage who the paddler might be and no one has contacted the police as yet regarding a missing paddler.” During the search the paddle and paddleski were found near Tweni Beach, which is about five kilometres away from where the paddler was spotted.

“Sergeant Rommel da Rosa of police search and rescue boarded a police helicopter, which was summoned from Durban, to assist with the search. The paddler is still missing,” Wiid said.

The search was called off just after 2 pm yesterday and will continue today.

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