SARU President Oregan Hoskins. Picture: Carl Fourie

The SA Rugby Union (Saru) has sent its condolences to the Motherwell Rugby Club after one of its players drowned and five of his teammates went missing on Sunday.

“I have spoken to the president of Eastern Province Kings rugby union and members of the community… and this is a devastating tragedy,” Saru president Oregan Hoskins said.

The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) said it had rescued 15 of 21 people who had been swept out by rip currents earlier on Sunday. NSRI spokesman Craig Lambinon said

the rescue team was alerted at midday and an extensive search was launched to find the missing men.

Lambinon said three sea rescue craft, rescue rubber ducks, a jet-ski and a helicopter were used in the search.

Hoskins said: “These young men were preparing to compete in a Saru Easter Tournament in Cape Town in a fortnight and were enjoying a care-free day on the beach with their teammates… To have their afternoon turned into a day of tragedy is shocking for the whole rugby community and our thoughts and prayers go out to their families.” – Sapa