Five drownings on Christmas day

2018-12-26 09:45
The EMS/AMS Skymed rescue helicopter and NSRI sea rescue craft in attendance at the incident at Robberg Nature Reserve. (NSRI)

The EMS/AMS Skymed rescue helicopter and NSRI sea rescue craft in attendance at the incident at Robberg Nature Reserve. (NSRI)

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Five people drowned on Christmas Day in separate incidents across the country, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) recorded.

At around 09:00, the NSRI responded to reports of a drowning in progress in the Great Brak River, Suiderkruis, Mossel Bay, near to the river mouth.

According to NSRI, a search was initiated for an 8 year-old girl who went missing in the river. The girl was recovered from the water and CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) was performed by paramedics before she was loaded into an ambulance to be rushed to hospital.

NSRI said that the girl was declared dead by doctors.


Just before 12:00, Strand lifeguards started searching for a man who went missing in the surf at Deep Blue Strand.

"They had apparently found no sign of this person reported by a group of children," said NSRI in a statement.

NSRI dispatched rescue swimmers and sea rescue craft, while the City of Cape Town water safety network was activated along with other rescue services.

"During a search the man was located and recovered from the surf and paramedics commenced with CPR efforts. Sadly, despite extensive CPR efforts, the man was declared deceased."


Also on Christmas Day, three people were caught in the rip currents at Wilderness Beach along the Garden Route in the Western Cape.

"On arrival on the scene the sea rescue craft Oscars Rescuer joined a search that was being conducted by lifeguards who were conducting coordinated free dive search patterns in the surf," the NSRI said.

"During the search a lifeguard located and recovered an unconscious man from the water and he was brought onto the beach where extensive CPR efforts were commenced but sadly after all CPR efforts were exhausted the man, from Holland, was declared deceased."

The two other people who were also caught in the rip currents, believed to be family members of the deceased, managed to get out of the water and were uninjured.

"The Department of Tourism are assisting the deceased man's wife and his two daughters."

Buffalo Bay

A man also drowned on Tuesday near the small town of Buffalo Bay.

NSRI said that lifeguards and 2 surfers had located and recovered an unconscious man from the water and he was brought onto the shore in the afternoon.

Four doctors who were on the beach at the time, commenced CPR on the man and were joined in the rescue efforts by paramedics on their arrival.

"But sadly after extensive CPR efforts were exhausted the man, who is believed to be from Malawi, was declared deceased," NSRI said in a statement.


In the small coastal town in the Overberg region on the Western Cape, the body of a 28-year-old man was recovered in the Palmiet River on Christmas Day.

"It appears that a group of men were jumping off the bridge into the river and swimming when one man is believed to have been in difficulty and while the group of friends helped that friend we believe that they had not noticed another friend disappear beneath the water surface and they only realised later that he was missing," said NSRI.

NSRI rescue swimmers assisted police and recovered body of the man on Tuesday evening.

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