Vaal River tragedy: Gauteng police recover 4 more bodies, death toll at 5

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Five people drowned in the Vaal River over the weekend.
Five people drowned in the Vaal River over the weekend.
  • Gauteng police have confirmed five fatalities following a tragic boating accident on the Vaal River.
  • This comes after four bodies were recovered on Sunday.
  • The boat was carrying seven people before it capsized. 

Police recovered four bodies on Sunday following a tragic accident in which a boat capsized on the Vaal River on Saturday evening.

It brings the number of deaths in connection with the incident to five.

The boat was carrying seven people when it capsized. Two people made it to safety and, in the search for the others, one body was found on Saturday.

"The team has withdrawn after concluding the successful recovery operation in search of the four victims whose bodies were recovered closer to Sasolburg in the Free State.

"The boat in question has now also been found and retrieved from the river," police spokesperson Brigadier Mathapelo Peters said in an update on Sunday.

The identities of the deceased cannot be disclosed at this stage until their next of kin have been informed.

READ | Double tragedy on the Vaal: Jetski and speedboat crash, boat overturns

"The investigation into the circumstances surrounding the multiple drownings is under way. Police will work closely with the South African Marine Safety Authority on the investigation," Peters concluded.

Gauteng police commissioner Lieutenant-General Elias Mawela commended the determination, professionalism and attention to detail demonstrated by the team of officers from the Gauteng Water Police and Diving Services specialised unit, who secured the recovery of the four bodies. 

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