No sign of 'missing' Blouberg swimmers

(NSRI)
(NSRI)

Authorities continue to keep an eye on the Melkbosstrand coastline after two swimmers were reported to have been swept out to sea.

An extensive search yielded no sign of either of the missing men.

Rhine Barnes, the National Sea Rescue Institute's Melkbosstrand station commander, said eyewitnesses later reported seeing two men in wetsuits emerging from the water further down the surf and leaving the beach.

"But it could not be confirmed that they were the men who were in difficulty," Barnes said.

On Thursday, the NSRI's duty crew responded to reports of a drowning in progress at Bloubergstrand at 17:10.

"A man was reported being swept out to sea by rip currents and it appeared that a second man had gone into the surf to assist. It appeared that the second man was also swept out to sea before eyewitnesses lost sight of both men," Barnes said.

The NSRI launched a sea rescue craft and dispatched a rescue vehicle along with its rescue swimmers to search for the duo, along with other emergency services.

An extensive search ensued, also involving a rescue helicopter, a drone with an infrared camera, and police divers.

"Fire rescue divers, NSRI rescue swimmers and Big Bay Surf Lifesaving lifeguards conducted free dive sweeping line search efforts in the surf," he said.

An extensive shoreline search was also conducted, and eyewitnesses were interviewed.

"Despite an extensive sea, air and shoreline search, no signs of the two men were found. NSRI, Big Bay Surf Lifesaving and police continued to monitor during the night but no reports of any persons missing, related to an incident of this nature, have been reported to police."

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