Toddler drowns in Hartbeespoort Dam on Mother's Day

By Drum Digital
11 May 2015

A toddler presumably drowned after a rubber duck overturned on the Hartbeespoort Dam at the weekend.

Pretoria -

"It appears that a Pretoria North family were staying at a local caravan park for the weekend with friends and they were on a friend's boat that was towing a tube on the water," National Sea Rescue Institute spokesperson Craig Lambinon said.

The family included a husband, wife and their two children, a young daughter and the boy who would have celebrated his second birthday in June.

It is believed that no-one on the boat was wearing life jackets, Lambinon said.

The 4.5-metre rubber duck capsized about 300 metres from the bank of the dam near the Eagle Waters resort on Sunday afternoon.

"The father and a friend were on the tube at the time and during the boat making a tight turn on the water it appears that the tube dug into the water and this may have led to the boat capsizing.

"The boat had on board the skipper, the mother, and three children."

All the occupants of the boat landed in the water when it capsized.

"The little boy... did not surface after disappearing underwater."

Bystanders asked men with a jet ski to help and the survivors were towed to the shore before rescue services arrived.

"NSRI Hartbeespoort Dam, police and ambulance services arrived on the scene and an extensive search continued until after sunset but there remained no sign of the missing toddler," said Lambinon. Police divers would continue the search on Monday morning.


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