Missing swimmer: Search called off

2011-07-13 00:00

MARGATE police search-and-rescue unit suspended the helicopter and boat search for holiday-maker Cobus Coetzee on Monday, spokesperson Phumzile Makaula said yesterday.

Coetzee went missing at Ramsgate beach last Friday.

A source with the rescue unit said on Monday the police helicopter had searched for Coetzee for two hours.

Rescue boats were launched from the beach at the same time while the K9 unit scouted the sea shores for possible leads.

The source said the helicopter and the boats cannot be used on a daily basis, but are used whenever they are available.

“It’s not that we give up on the missing ... but we have to be cautious because ignoring the weather conditions can become disastrous,” said the source.

He said there are two or three bodies that were not recovered from the South Coast beaches last year, and that those cases have not been closed.

“We do patrols with the police dogs in the hope that they’ll spot something that would lead us to recovering the missing persons.”

National Sea Rescue Institute spokesperson Craig Lambinon agreed with the source that searches of this nature never really end.

“There are always people on the beach from time to time. This is an ongoing effort with the key issue to bring relief to the family of the missing man,” he said yesterday.

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