Fourth person drowns in Cape Town as city braces for New Year's Eve weekend

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(NSRI)
(NSRI)

Cape Town – A 17-year-old drowned in Strand, Cape Town, on Thursday afternoon after he disappeared among bathers, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) said. 

This brings the total amount of drownings in the Mother City over the festive period to four. 

In a statement, NSRI spokesperson Craig Lambinon said authorities were alerted to the teenager's disappearance shortly before 18:00.

When NSRI rescue swimmers arrived at the scene, lifeguards had already entered the water looking for the boy, Lambinon said. 

His body was found soon thereafter and brought to shore where paramedics conducted "extensive" CPR.

"All efforts to resuscitate the teenager were exhausted, he was declared deceased," said Lambinon, who sent condolences to the boy's family. 

Meanwhile, search and rescue operations are underway in Richards Bay where a 10-year-old has gone missing in the surf at Mtyani Camp.

The search for the boy is set to continue overnight, Lambinon said. 

Although Cape Town has seen fewer drownings in the current festive season compared to previous periods, officials remain concerned that the upcoming New Year's Eve weekend could see an increase in the number.

Public urged to have fun safely

In a statement on Wednesday, City of Cape Town MMC for safety and security JP Smith said in December 2016 seven drownings were recorded while there were 13 in 2015. 

"Drowning remains a concern and we urge people to have fun safely and to swim where there are lifeguards," Smith said. 

On Tuesday afternoon, 34-year-old father drowned near Gordons Bay while trying to save his 10-year-old son.

The father jumped from a fishing boat to rescue his child, but was overwhelmed by the water.

Also on Tuesday, a 63-year-old man from Athlone was declared dead on the scene after he was found floating and unresponsive in the water at an education camp in Soetwater.

On Wednesday, A 20-year-old man drowned in Strand, Cape Town, after he was swept out to sea by a rip current.

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