Teens’ canoeing adventure turns to tragedy at Paarl farm dam

By Okuhle Hlati Time of article published Dec 1, 2020

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Daan van Leeuwen Boomkamp of the Drakenstein Farm Watch (DFW) volunteer fire brigade and rescue group, who was first on the scene, said he was alerted to the incident just after 4pm on Sunday by the farm owner.

Boomkamp said four friends, aged 16, were in their canoe when it capsized.

“The dam is often used in warm weather conditions by the local farm youth to play and swim. Upon arrival, I was informed by other youngsters that three boys managed to get out of the water while one disappeared under the water.

’’Unfortunately, there was nothing I could do at that stage because he had been there for more than 20 minutes already,” said Boomkamp.

He said private K9, Paarl police, metro rescue and ER 24 ambulance services were also called to assist in retrieving the body.

Police spokesperson FC Van Wyk said police were investigating.

“The body was retrieved from the dam by the SAPS Diving Unit, and he was declared dead by paramedics on the scene,” said Van Wyk.

Meanwhile, Muizenberg Beach has been reopened following its closure on Sunday to allow rescue services to conduct a multi-agency sea search for a seasonal lifeguard who disappeared in the surf.

The 23-year-old went missing in the water on Saturday after he fell off a rescue sled towed by a ski en route to help a kite surfer in distress at St James beach just before 3pm.

An air, sea and shoreline search operation involving lifeguards, the National Sea Rescue Institute, Law Enforcement, Fire and Rescue Service, Disaster Risk Management and Emergency Medical Services commenced.

While the search for the 23-year-old continued, the body of fisherman, Godfrey Adams, was found on Sunday by his family and friends in Rooi Els, near Pringle Bay.

Cape Times

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