Divers and drones used to search for missing doctor in Howick Falls area

2019-10-31 08:53
Drones were used to find a missing doctor in Howick on Wednesday.

Drones were used to find a missing doctor in Howick on Wednesday. (Supplied)

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Search-and-rescue teams were using drones to assist in the search for missing doctor Vidwaan Singh, whose abandoned vehicle was found on Tuesday in the vicinity of Howick Falls, KwaZulu-Natal.

Howick newspaper Village Talk has reported that police retrieved a note from Singh's car seat, but as yet there has been no official confirmation from the police. Several well-positioned sources have also indicated that a note was found in the vehicle, according to Arrive Alive

The search operations were reportedly suspended around 10:30 on Wednesday as specialist divers were called in from Port Shepstone to dive into the pool below the falls. The plunge pool is notoriously dangerous for divers and requires specialised equipment and technical skills. Singh reportedly was last seen leaving his surgery in Raisethorpe on Tuesday afternoon.

The concerned family attempted to get hold of him and a search was initiated later in the evening, with various community safety and security organisations, as well as the police, scouring the area for him. His car was discovered at the falls and looked as if it had been involved in a rear-end collision. The vehicle was taken to the Howick police station.

Village Talk interviewed eyewitnesses who claim to have seen Singh drive through the area before parking at the falls opposite the vendors. According to them, he sat in his car, a white BMW, for several hours before getting out at about 18:00.

Searchers combed the area for signs of the doctor on Tuesday night but when it got too dark and too dangerous, the search was called off and resumed again early on Wednesday morning.

Drones used

Two drones were used to scan the area and the surrounding cliffs and bushes, to no avail, while search-and-rescue teams stood on standby, and the stunned and traumatised family of the doctor huddled around waiting for news.

A number of rescue teams also descended through the Bush Golf path down to the bottom of the falls for a closer inspection of the base of the falls.

Search efforts are continuing.

Mountain Rise SAPS spokesperson Warrant Officer Joshua Maistry told Public Eye that Singh was last seen leaving his surgery at around 12:00 on Tuesday.

He was reported missing prompting search operations. Maistry reportedly said Singh's cellular phone was traced to the Howick Falls precinct where his car was found.

- Compiled by Riaan Grobler

Read more on:    durban  |  missing persons
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