Rugby ace, 16, from Otto du Plessis drowns

2016-12-20 06:22
(NSRI website)

(NSRI website)

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Port Elizabeth - “I went on my knees and begged God: Please just give me back my child’s body.”

That was the plea of Junita Booyse of Missionvale, Port Elizabeth, after she realised that her 16-year-old son, Jack Felix, had drowned, Netwerk24 reports. 

Jack, a pupil at Otto du Plessis High, was on a church outing to Paradise Beach in Ashton Bay in the Eastern Cape when he disappeared under water.

Booyse said he and some friends had been playing with a ball in the water when the accident happened. He had apparently stood in a hole under the water and didn't surface again.

“We’d prayed after arriving at Paradise Beach. Then Jack and his buddies took off to play in the water,” said Booyse.  “A caretaker had come to warn us about the holes, but by that time the boys had gone.

“Shortly after that, I saw one of our congregants rush in the direction of the water. We all followed. When I got there, they told me that my son had drowned. I collapsed. Everything happened so fast.”

Booyse says her husband, Jakob, wasn’t there. He’d gone to the shop to buy bread. When he got back, and realised what had happened, he took off his shirt and dived in to search for his son. 

“The life guards and emergency services came, as did a helicopter. After about an hour, one of the life guards came to me and said they normally helped a drowning victim within 15 minutes. He prepared me. I knew Jack was dead. 

“I prayed that his body would be found. Too many mothers have not had the privilege to hold their children’s bodies for the last time. I, at least, could," said Booyse. 

The NSRI’s Craig Lambinon said life guards had found Jack’s body. 

“You know, everyone talks of his ready smile and good manners. He had a bright future. At 16 he was a man already. I will miss him, but God knows best, “ said Booyse. 

Read more on:    nsri  |  port elizabeth  |  drownings

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