Woman drowns in Richards Bay
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Durban - While one family prepares to make funeral arrangements for their deceased relative, another family is desperately awaiting news that the body of their teenage son is recovered.
The National Sea Rescue Institute’s Craig Lambinon said two women had gone swimming when one of them drowned at Naval Island Beach in the Port of Richards Bay on Thursday.
“The NSRI Richards Bay duty crew arrived on the scene to find Ice Medical and Rescue already on the scene and a female, aged in her 30's had been declared deceased by medics,” he said.
A 14-year old girl was transported to hospital by ambulance in a critical condition.
Both females had reportedly been rescued from the water by bystanders.
Lambinon said he body of the deceased female was taken into the care of the Forensic Pathology Services.
Police have opened an inquest docket.
Meanwhile, the search for a 13-year old boy who went missing in the surf at a beach in Richards Bay on Wednesday, resumes today.
“A group of youngsters were playing with a ball on the beach and the missing teenager had gone into the surf to retrieve the ball but disappeared under water. Despite an extensive search no sign of the teenager was found. Police have opened an investigation and a Police Search and Rescue team are continuing with an ongoing search,” Lambinon said.
Bathers are urged to be cautious while swimming this festive season as there has been a noted increase in drownings during the festive season.
Robert Mckenzie, KZN Emergency Medical Services spokesperson said drowning is the in the top five of causes of fatalities, especially in children.
Water wise tips
Drowning is one of the leading causes of accidental death among children in South Africa. With the dawn of the December school holidays, many people will be heading for a swim at the beach or local swimming pools. It is easy to get excited and forget about safety.
If you’re planning to go swimming during the holidays, go through some water safety tips with everyone in your family and make sure they stick to them.
The following tips should be borne in mind:
Knowing how to swim is an important skill that everyone should have. Find out from your local council if there are services offering free swimming lessons;
Swim with a buddy - Swim with someone who is a good swimmer;
Never go into deep water unless you are an experienced swimmer;
Swim where lifeguards are on duty just in case anything happens;
Bathers are urged to swim within designated bathing areas, marked with red and yellow flagged beacons. Swimming hours are from 06h00 to 18h30 and swimming at night is dangerous as there are no lifeguards on duty then;
Swim or take part in water sports when you are alert, never when you’re sleepy or have used drugs or alcohol;
Keep a look out for your friends - If you’re a good swimmer but your friends aren’t, make sure they know their limits, and keep an eye on them in the water;
Don’t drink and swim – drinking alcohol (or using drugs) dramatically increases the risk of injury – especially when diving;
If a large wave approaches you and there is not enough time to get away from it, try to dive underneath the wave. Keep your body as low as possible until the wave passes over you;
Never leave a young child unattended near water and do not entrust a child’s life to another child; teach children to always ask for permission to go near water;
If a child is missing, check the water first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability;
Steer clear of animal life like jellyfish and stingrays;
Always keep swimming pools covered with a safety net or cover; and
Be wise and remember, water is dangerous – even if you know how to swim.
Unless you’re a strong swimmer and very confident, don’t enter the water to rescue someone as many times would be rescuers have become drowning victims