3 toddlers almost drown - parents missing

2011-12-25 18:59

Johannesburg - Spring tides that the National Sea Rescue Institute warned of last week, were behind four near-drownings on South Africa's coastline on Christmas Day.

At Morgan's Bay in the Eastern Cape, a Free State holidaymaker, Kathleen Bradfield, was swept out to sea by strong rip-currents. The currents had been made stronger by spring tides having breached the wall of the local lagoon, making the rip-currents stronger, said NSRI spokesperson Craig Lambinon.

She was airlifted to hospital in a serious condition after being rescued.

At Richard's Bay, in KwaZulu-Natal, one of three children who fell in the water a stone's throw from the NSRI in the bay wall recreational area was found "breathless and pulseless".

NSRI medics restored the 5-year-old boy's pulse after ten minutes' treatment. He also started breathing again, but remained in a serious condition.

"The remaining two children, a 5-year-old male and a 3-year-old male, who had been rescued by bystanders, were showing signs and symptoms of near drowning," said Lambinon.


The trio was taken to hospital by ambulance.

"Police are attempting to track down the children's parents who were reportedly at the same recreational area at the time of the incident.

"But it appears that they may have borne no knowledge that their children were rescued and rushed to hospital as no one came forward to claim the children," he said.

"It is not clear what caused the children to get into difficult[y] ... but at the time the spring low tide had turned and the spring high tide was building up."

  • John - 2011-12-25 19:17

    What if the parents were swept out to sea rescuing there children and no ones noticed?

      Trent Hodges - 2011-12-25 20:22

      That's what I was thinking as well!?!

      John - 2011-12-26 01:28

      I doubt they were swept out to sea - I frequent this area, it is in the harbor, it is free of fact it's as calm as bath water. It is as calm as swimming in a lagoon

      Vera - 2011-12-26 15:30

      No John, my daughter was a witness. She says the mother just stood there and screamed and then disappeared.

  • Trevor - 2011-12-25 19:28

    And...where ...were the Parents????

  • rmattnertours - 2011-12-25 19:37

    What kind of parents are these?

  • Xolani Nyawo - 2011-12-25 20:15

    Poor little kids...parents might have been swept to the sea..

  • Jb - 2011-12-25 20:51

    I get exactly the same thing at my guesthouses. Unsupervised todlers come to within a few seconds of death like the one who fell asleep under someones 4x4 just recently. The driver was already getting into the vehicle when I saw the child under it and shouted at him to stop. It took me about half-an-hour to find the parents. They were partying somewhere else at a bungelow. But if that child got hurt or killed those would very quickly have become the parents from hell trying to find someone else to blame. I now do not take children at my facility any more. It really is shocking.

      Chum Scrubber - 2011-12-26 07:47

      Agree Jb, also own a B&B and we avoid having children here, parents are too irresponsible - also they don't discipline their kids, we find them very destructive, yet people still want to pay half price for them, they should pay double!

      Jb - 2011-12-26 11:38

      Hi Chum. Your comments are spot-on. Children should be more expensive, they use the same facilities if not more than the parents and are immensily destructive. Amongst other things, I am sitting with a R 4000,00 matrass which cannot be used anymore because a child not just urinated but defecated on it, a burnout motor on a jacuzi bath which will cost at least R 2000 to repair because the child, about 10 years old, was half-filling the bath and then switching the motor on to spray people coming into the bathroom. I am sure that you have many similar stories. Say anything and the parents are immidiately up in arms "vat aan my kind dan vat jy aan my". And like you the constant demand to pay 50% or pay nothing. One lady was livid when I wanted to charge for her 3 kids, "ek betaal nie vir kinders nie". Obviously the parents are to blame not the children, but the best policy overall is just not to allow them. I have had very good support from other guests who like coming to a child-free environment which in my opinion, more than make up for the losses I might have in not taking children. I am pleased to see your comments because if BB owners adopt the same policies we will give these irresponsible parents a message.

      Jb - 2011-12-26 11:48

      Thanx Bob. Hamba Kahle to you as well. The general public are difficult to deal with at the best of times and some businesses such as the hospitality trade seems to bring out the worst in them. I can't account for the reason why but I fully understand your reasoning for rather avoiding them.

  • Michelle - 2011-12-26 05:51

    Becoming a parent shouldn't be "your right" but a privilege. Letting young children out of your sight on the beach is utterly irresponsible. Idiots!!!!!!!!

      Ernestine - 2011-12-26 16:10

      One of the reasons we very seldom go to the beach over the festive season. I'm scared to death of letting my precious son out of my sight for a second! It's just not worth it.

      Sharon - 2011-12-27 11:20

      having children is easy, raising them responsibly is a different story altogether!

  • Nicholas - 2011-12-26 06:12

    I am glad that NSRI is at least there to watch over them, I think I'll give them an Xmas donation, it's the least I can do in return.

      Diane - 2011-12-26 06:57

      Brillant idea Nicholas. Do hope many will follow your example. What about a monthly debit order? Your name will then go into a monthly draw of R1,000 (of which there are 10 winners), plus the annual draw of R100,000 of which there is one winner. The minimum debit order amount is R25.00 and you can take as many as you choose. Truly a worthy cause to support. Take the time to check out their web site.

      JohhnyBGood - 2011-12-26 14:36

      @Diane, awesome info. Thanks for that ...

  • Xenswim1 - 2011-12-26 07:09

    it is like a cattle farm in the water off our coasts. for the most part the non swimming section of the nation does not obey the life guards. At times of shear frustration they discuss using cattle prods to get them to bath in the safe sections. As for lost children. Never in you life has one seen such lack of care for children. I question if these kids are loved by their parents. Few if any seem to be aware that their children have wandered off. In unprecedented numbers it can take up to three hours before a parent notices the child missing. I say if you do not know you child is missing within at least five minutes [ should be 30 seconds] you get a huge fine or parent training.

      JohhnyBGood - 2011-12-26 14:39

      First you get 'fixed', so you can produce more. Then a fine Then community service Then training. You get all, in one go. Not after multiple offences.

  • Ianthe - 2011-12-26 08:55

    Pity kids can't choose their parents...

  • Silver - 2011-12-26 09:16

    From most of the comments it is clear that people haven’t been to these major beaches over specifically Christmas and new-year. I have heard these days referred to as “Finding Sipho” days. I think that people just disappear on those days never to be heard from again. This includes children. On the other hand if you see the people’s behavior you will understand why. Good days to avoid going to the beach.

  • Henk - 2011-12-26 09:26

    I've heard somewhere that some parents leave their toddlers on the beach on purpose, knowing that someone will take care of them. After each December holiday there are hundreds of abandoned children, herded from the most popular beaches. Some get reunited with their recalcitrant parents, but most end up in orphanages. And, it seems, some drown.

      Michelle - 2011-12-26 10:32

      So sad but absolutely true. Disgusting is the only word that comes to mind!!!!Again, I say, becoming a parent should not be a right!!

      JohhnyBGood - 2011-12-26 14:43

      Sad but true...

  • Vera - 2011-12-26 15:28

    My daughter was there. She says the woman who appeared to be the mother, just stood there and screamed and then disappeared.

  • Terence - 2011-12-26 22:04

    Come to Richards Bay on New Years day and you will see the chaos that happens both at the Bay Hall area, and at the beach - Tens of thousands descend upon a small stretch of water. There is such alcohol abuse, partying etc, that it is disgusting. The local people avoid the beaches completely. Even if NSRI and the Life savers had to quadruple their numbers, they still would not have enough staff to cope at these areas.

  • shelley.beukes - 2011-12-27 01:03

    How can parents not be aware of what is happening with their children?

  • muriel.farquharson - 2011-12-27 06:56

    Prosepctive parents should have to write an examination on parenting and then get a licence to parent. That might give them some sort of wake up call.

  • Carlos - 2011-12-27 08:37

    Eh Eh... Somewhere else there's a warning that racist, insulting comments will be excluded, (but never are). Idiotic, self righteous, ignorant and badly spelt comments like most of these should be disallowed too, most have nothing to do with the matter at hand and are nothing but self-promoting bull.

  • IZAAN.STEENKAMP - 2011-12-28 13:19

    Where were useless, useless yor parents were you that drunk by not noticing your kids are gone nooooo please come on its your kids for Heaven sake poor kids you are suppose to look out for them. God had His Angels protecting then sjoe thank You Lord

  • Gail - 2012-01-02 10:23

    Please give these children up for adoption to people who really love children as obviously their parents don't.

  • Rebekka - 2012-01-03 21:22

    I don't know why everyone is so surprised... Useless parents abound! In fact, I know more useless parents than good ones.... Very very sad, but so utterly true. I think most kids are just very blessed with guardian angels, so their parents don't look as useless as they really are. Poor little babies... so extremely young to be out and about without supervision. The parents won't be charged... it might set a precedent that could cause a tsunami of useless parents getting into trouble and then who will "look after" all their children? we don't have reliable state services or welfare... that is one mountain our government will not try to climb - just toooo much PT.

  • juanita.steenkamp3 - 2012-01-18 16:48

    If you cant look after your own children ....please dont have them.....!!!!!!!!!!

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