Durban -

The bodies of two boys who drowned in the Umlaas River in Durban were retrieved on Monday, paramedics said.

Netcare 911 spokesman Chris Botha said the disappearance of the two boys, aged seven and 13, was reported on Sunday night.

They went swimming in the river near Durban's Shallcross suburb.

Police divers were called and, after an hour of searching, found their bodies under a thick mat of water hyacinth. Both were declared dead on the scene.

Commander of the Durban search and rescue unit, Captain Troy Allison, confirmed the drowning.

Water hyacinth is an invasive species, clogging up dams and rivers in mats up to two metres thick. - Sapa