Father drowns while trying to save 10-year-old son

Pretoria – A 34-year-old man drowned at sea near Gordons Bay in the Western Cape on Tuesday while trying to save his 10-year-old son.

The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) said it responded to reports of a drowning in progress in the surf below Crystal Pools, between Gordons Bay and Koegel Bay at around 15:30. Bystanders had reported that there was a father and son in the surf, who were in difficulty.

The Athlone man and his son had been fishing when waves swept the child into the surf, NSRI spokesperson Craig Lambinon said in a statement.  

The father jumped in to help rescue the boy but ran into trouble, he said.

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The NSRI rescued the child from the surf and, during a seven-minute search, the father was spotted and pulled out of the water.

Medics immediately initiated CPR efforts on the father, while the sea rescue craft raced to the NSRI base in Gordons Bay.

Despite extensive CPR and other efforts, the father was declared dead.

"The child has been transported to hospital by EMS ambulance in a stable condition for treatment for shock and for observation for secondary drowning symptoms," said Lambinon.

Forensic Pathology Services took the man's body into their care and police have opened an inquest docket.

In an unrelated incident, a 63-year-old Athlone man was declared dead on the scene after he was found floating unresponsive in the water at an education camp in Soetwater.

Lambinon said it was suspected that the man had been diving. 

After all efforts to resuscitate the man were exhausted, he was declared dead.

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