Swimmer’s body still missing in Midmar Mile mystery

2011-02-15 00:00

FIVE family members of 45-year-old Nick Mellet, who is believed to have drowned during the 38th aQuellé Midmar Mile race on Saturday, sat tirelessly beside the dam as the search for his body continued yesterday.

Three days later, members of the police Search and Rescue Unit, Navy divers and Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife staff have not found the body.

Jack Haskins of the Pietermaritzburg Dog Unit expalined yesterday: “The problem is that no one saw anything or reported seeing a man struggling during the race. And the dam is very big and the water levels are high so it is very challenging for us to locate the whereabouts of the body.”

Haskins said the family will only speak to the media when the body has been found.

Mellet worked for an engineering firm in Benoni and was very active in sport. “Mellet played cricket and hockey and seems like he was a popular person. I have been receiving numerous phone calls from people who are concerned about his disappearance,” said Haskins.

A helicopter was brought in to assist with the search.

“It is hard for the family because we want to give them closure during this difficult period,” added Haskins. He said the search will continue at first light today.

Midmar Mile director Wayne Riddin told the Witness on Sunday: “This was the first case of this nature … in the history of the race.”

Ezemvelo spokesperson Maureen Zimu said: “All the necessary precautions were taken … 140 lifeguards [[were] scattered around the dam to ensure that swimmers were safe.”

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