Rescue teams launch sea search after man goes missing in Cape Town

An NSRI search operation.
An NSRI search operation.
Brenton Geach, Gallo Images
  • A search is still underway for a 43-year-old man who went missing at sea in Cape Town on Thursday.
  • The man disappeared after jumping from a rock into the water to retrieve a fishing rod.
  • The NSRI said bystanders alerted it to the incident.

Rescue workers were continuing their search for a 43-year-old man who went missing while swimming at Saunders' Rocks Beach in Bantry Bay, Cape Town, on Thursday.

On Friday morning, police divers launched a police boat as part of an ongoing search operation.

The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) said police divers conducted a scuba dive search and shoreline patrols. They were assisted by a police helicopter conducting an air search along the shoreline and offshore.

READ | Body of unidentified man pulled from surf in Strand

"SAPS Water Policing and Diving Services (Cape Town) are continuing [their] ongoing search operation for the missing man," said NSRI Table Bay duty coxswain Gal Chiles.

The NSRI said the man disappeared after jumping from rocks into the water to retrieve a fishing rod.

Chiles said:

Bystanders raised the alarm, and we believe that a bystander had grabbed the NSRI pink rescue buoy stationed at Saunders' Rocks to try and help, but the man had already disappeared underwater.

There was no sign of the man despite an extensive sea and shoreline search.

The NSRI Emergency Operations Centre activated the City of Cape Town's water rescue network.

Rescue swimmers from NSRI Bakoven and NSRI Table Bay, the SAPS Water Policing and Diving Services, the Western Cape government's Emergency Medical Services and Cape Town Traffic Services responded, said Chiles.

They were assisted by the City of Cape Town's law enforcement department, lifeguards and Fire and Rescue Service, added Chiles.

The NSRI Table Bay's sea rescue craft Spirit of Day was also launched. Fire and Rescue Service divers launched their rescue craft, but the man was not found.

Earlier this week, the body of an unidentified man surfaced in the water at Strand Pavilion.

At the time, police spokesperson Warrant Officer Joseph Swartbooi said an inquest docket had been opened for investigation.

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