Cape Town - Tragedy struck at a Cape beach on New Year's Day when two men drowned and another man, who is still being sought, was swept out to sea.
The three men, aged 18, 24 and 28, who were involved in two separate drowning incidents, were believed to have been caught in a rip current at Sonwabe Beach in Muizenberg on Monday.
Hundreds of beachgoers flocked to the popular beach to enjoy the hot summer weather.
National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) spokesperson Craig Lambinon said services were activated around 1.30pm following eye-witness reports of a drowning in progress at the beach.
The NSRI Strandfontein rescue craft Rescue 1 Bravo was launched and a Muizenberg City of Cape Town lifeguard jet-ski responded.
“On arrival on the scene one male, age 18, was found on the beach. NSRI medics initiated cardiopulmonary resuscitation efforts and they were joined by emergency services.
“After all efforts to resuscitate the teenager were exhausted, sadly, he was declared deceased,” Lambinon said.
An eight-year-old boy from Belhar was rescued from the water, while his 28-year-old father is still missing.
According to Lambinon, a 12-year-old boy from Woodstock, who is the brother of the deceased teen, is in a stable condition in hospital after he was rescued by two bystanders.
“He is the brother of the 18-year-old deceased male – they are from Woodstock. The wife of the missing man is the sister of the father of the 18-year-old deceased male and the 12-year-old male who went to hospital,” Lambinon said.
“A sea and shoreline search for the 28-year-old male continues, but there remain no signs of the missing man.”
The missing man’s family declined to comment on the incident at this stage.
Meanwhile, while the NSRI was responding to the drowning incident it was flagged down by public members about half a kilometre away regarding another incident.
Lambinon said: “On investigating, NSRI were met by a male, age 24, from Manenberg, that had been rescued from the water by bystanders and he was on the beach with no pulse and no breathing.”
However, the man was declared deceased after emergency services tried to resuscitate him.
"Condolences are conveyed to the family of the Woodstock deceased teenager and the family of the Manenberg deceased 24-year-old man," Lambinon said.
Muizenberg police have registered an inquest for further investigation. Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Joseph Swartbooi said the diving unit was continuing to search for the missing man.