Sea Point drownings: Body of last teen recovered from sea

2019-11-27 09:02
Officials worked to retrieve a body believed to belong to an 18-year-old who went missing in the water at Rocklands Beach, Sea Point, on Sunday. (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

Officials worked to retrieve a body believed to belong to an 18-year-old who went missing in the water at Rocklands Beach, Sea Point, on Sunday. (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

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The body of the last remaining teenager who drowned in Sea Point, Cape Town, over the weekend has been recovered.

On Wednesday morning, during ongoing search-and-recovery efforts, the body of the 18-year-old was located and recovered from the sea at Rocklands Beach, National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) spokesperson Craig Lambinon said in a statement. 

This is the fourth body that has been recovered since Monday.

READ | How to spot a rip current and other ways to stay safe on SA beaches

Felicien Nzisabira had on Tuesday watched helplessly as the body of his boy, Uwamungu John Damour, washed up on the rocks around 10:30.

Nzisabira and his friends had wanted to grab ropes and immediately fetch the body, but conditions were rough, and they were held back as officials waited to go in safely. 

The Burundian family, which have been in the country since 2006, is part of refugees who are currently staying at the Central Methodist Church in Green Market Square.

The NSRI said on Sunday they had received reports of four people in difficulty in the surf at Rocklands Beach.

According to Lambinon, they were "friends who were caught in rip currents after entering the water to swim when a wave washed over them".

READ | Sea Point drownings: Tears as fourth body sighted near beach

"The four casualties who were originally in difficulty were an 18-year-old male from Burundi, a 16-year-old male from the Congo, a 15-year-old male from Burundi and a 15-year-old female from Congo," Lambinon said in a statement late on Sunday evening.

The first body was recovered on Sunday. A second and third body had been recovered late on Monday, Lambinon said in a subsequent statement.

The body was recovered by the Police Dive Unit supported by the Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services technical rescue team and Sea Point Police and Law Enforcement. 

The body has been taken into the care of Government Health Forensic Pathology Services and police have opened an inquest docket. 

Reverend Alan Storey said in a Central Methodist Church newsletter that they were trying to make arrangements to bury the bodies.

"The level of trauma this has caused is beyond description – especially for the families and group of young people (15-20 year olds) who witnessed the drowning," he said.

"I ask you to hold them in your hearts. In these times that make each of us feel so helpless – we pray and sing our faith – as we have done since the news. We hug and we hold and we give each other space."

He said the leaders of the refugees had undertaken to vacate the church between Tuesday and Thursday next week.

Read more on:    nsri  |  sea point  |  cape town  |  drownings
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