16-year-old boy drowns after being swept away in KwaZulu-Natal river

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A 16-year-old boy has drowned in the Mkhuze River in Pongola after he was swept away.
A 16-year-old boy has drowned in the Mkhuze River in Pongola after he was swept away.
SAPS
  • KwaZulu-Natal police have recovered two bodies following river drownings.
  • The first body recovered was that of a 16-year-old boy who drowned on Sunday.
  • The body of a man who drowned on Thursday was recovered 55km downstream.

A 16-year-old boy has drowned in the Mkhuze River in Pongola, KwaZulu-Natal, after he was swept away.

Police started a search for the boy on Monday after he was swept away while crossing the river on Sunday, police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele said.

READ | Have a swimming monitor and know the signs of drowning, warns NSRI

The body of the teenager was found around 11km from the scene of the drowning.

"With the aid of the community and the K9 Unit, the body of the drowned victim was located near the Somkhanda Game Reserve approximately 11km from the drowning point. Members had experienced difficulty in retrieving the body of the deceased from the wide and fast flowing river," Mbele said.

A 16-year-old boy has drowned in the Mkhuze River
A 16-year-old boy has drowned in the Mkhuze River in Pongola after he was swept away.

To recover the body, officers had to rig up a rope rescue system and swim across the river, where they used an inflatable raft to move the body, Mbele said.

"After a two-hour operation, the body of the deceased was finally hauled across safely without any further injury and handed over to local SAPS members from Magudu. An inquest case is being investigated," she said.

In a second search operation, officers located the body of a man who drowned in the Umfolozi River in Kwambonambi on Thursday.

"Late yesterday afternoon, the members received information that the body was seen floating in the river close to the Monzi Pump Station. The members were able to launch their vessel close to the Mtubatuba Sugar Mill and proceeded down the river," Mbele said.

The victim's badly decomposed body was found among logs and reeds.

"The members placed the victim in a body bag, loaded [the body] onto the vessel and transported it back to the launch site, where it was handed to Mtubatuba SAPS members," she said.

His body was found 55km downstream from where he had drowned, Mbele added.

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