Nine-year-old drowns in eZimbokodweni River
DURBAN: The body of a nine-year-old boy was recovered, after he drowned while swimming in the eZimbokodweni River, in the KwaMakhutha area, on Wednesday.
Police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said an inquest docket is being investigated by KwaMakhutha SAPS
Gwala said the incident occurred after 3pm on Wednesday afternoon.
“It is alleged that the victim was swimming, when he got into difficulty and drowned,” she said.
Police said the body was recovered by SAPS and Metro Police Search and Rescue teams.
Gwala said the matter was still under investigation.
After a surge in drownings in February, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) issued a warning to the public last month
The NSRI urged caregivers and parents to keep an eye on their children at the beach, at dams and rivers, and at home.
According to the organisation, most fatal drownings, affecting children under the age of five, occur at or near the home.
Washing basins, baths, and swimming pools, are danger zones and small children should never be allowed close to them unsupervised, it said.
“Older children should also be reminded of the dangers that they face near water, and should be discouraged from swimming at beaches, dams and rivers if there are no lifeguards on duty to help if they get into trouble.”
Here are the seven warning signs that someone is drowning:
- The person struggles to keep their face above the water in an effort to breathe – their head is low in the water, tilted back and their mouth is at water level.
- Their body is in a vertical or upright position. There is no supportive kicking and it appears as if they are bobbing.
- The person’s arms are extended to the side pressing down for support.
- They may continue to struggle underwater, but don’t make any headway, often facing the nearest point of safety, for example land, a person, shallow water, a buoyant support toy or a boat.
- Their eyes will be panicked or wide, appearing big, glassy and empty, and unable to focus.
- The person is incapable of responding to the question: “Are you okay?”
Sea Rescue’s water safety instructors have taught almost three million children how to avoid dangers in or near water, what to do in an emergency, who to call for help, how to rescue a friend, and last but not least, how to perform bystander CPR.
“The lessons are given at schools at no charge, and during lockdown our instructors conduct virtual lessons,” said the NSRI.