Missing woman’s family hails helpful unit

2016-08-03 10:27
Brothers Bear (lying down) and Chas take a break from their search for missing woman Brenda Scriven.

Brothers Bear (lying down) and Chas take a break from their search for missing woman Brenda Scriven. (File)

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The family of the woman who went missing in the flash flood in Durban on July 25 has praised the hard work of Pietermaritzburg search and rescue officer Karl Gous and his dog Chas.

Brenda Scriven (62) last made contact with her family while she was driving home from work as torrential rains flooded the city’s streets, making it extremely dangerous to drive.

Scriven’s vehicle was found abandoned on Glen Anil Street in Durban North later that night and it was suspected that a torrent of water washed her away when she tried to get out of the car.

A land, water and air search of around 13 km of river has been ongoing throughout last week by the police’s search and rescue unit.

Private security companies, volunteers, family and friends have joined in the search.

The family spokesperson, Lee Swales, who is married to Scriven’s second daughter, said it had been a difficult time for the family with a mix of emotions making it hard to understand and accept Scriven’s disappearance.

Swales said although the family had been through an incredibly tough time, Pietermaritzburg search and rescue’s Karl Gous and Port Shepstone’s search and rescue’s warrant officer Romel da Rosa had been “amazing”.

“The search and rescue team has been amazing, in particular Karl and Romel,” said Swales.

“They worked even on their days off, they explained what was being done to all the sisters and kept them up to date with everything. They have been fantastic.”

Swales said Gous and Da Rosa were both passionate and dedicated. The dogs they work with, Chas and Bear — who was formerly Lieutenant Jack Haskins’s dog — are brothers who were reunited on the search.

“If all police were like Karl and Romel, there would be no problems in this country. It is just staggering to see how much they have done. It has been unbelievable.”

Swales said despite the family’s grief, they wanted to try and channel their energy into doing something positive.

“We want Brenda’s legacy to continue, so we decided to create an non-profit organisation that would fund the K9 units in the police and in private security companies.

“Five years on, maybe we will look back on this and be sad, but also look fondly on the catalyst we started.”

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  rescue operations

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