Drowning at Milnerton Lagoon Beach

Milnerton Lagoon Beach. Photo: Armand Hough / Independent Newspapers

Milnerton Lagoon Beach. Photo: Armand Hough / Independent Newspapers

Published Dec 12, 2023


One person has died and another is fighting for his life after being caught in rip currents at Milnerton Lagoon Beach, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) confirmed.

The NSRI spokesperson, Craig Lambinon said just before 2pm on Monday, the NSRI Melkbosstrand duty crew and City of Cape Town’s (CoCT) water rescue network were activated following eyewitness reports of a drowning in progress.

He said Milnerton Surf Lifesaving Club lifeguards, CoCT lifeguards, NSRI Melkbosstrand rescue swimmers, CoCT Law Enforcement officers and CoCT Law Enforcement Marine Unit, Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services, the South African Police Services (SAPS), Western Cape Government Health emergency medical personnel, Community Medics, ER24 ambulance, and Netcare 911 ambulance services responded.

“Local residents heard shouts for help, had investigated and on noticing two men caught in rip currents rushed to the beach to assist,” Lambinon said.

“A local male resident used an NSRI pink rescue buoy, stationed at the beach, and with the use of the rescue buoy, he was able to rescue both men to the beach where one man, age 25, collapsed unconscious and one man, age 30, appeared to be in a serious condition,” he said.

“They are both from Zimbabwe. Lifeguards, stationed at Milnerton Surf Lifesaving Club, arrived on the scene and initiated medical treatment for both men.”

He said the 25-year-old man stopped breathing and lifegiards initiated cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) efforts.

They were joined by paramedics who continued advanced life support CPR on the man while also stabalising the 30-year-old man.

“After all efforts to resuscitate the 25-year-old man were exhausted sadly he was declared deceased. The body of the man has been taken into the care of police and government health Forensic Pathology Services,” Lambinon said.

“The 30-year-old man was transported to hospital by ER24 ambulance in a critical condition. Condolences are conveyed to the family and friends of the deceased man.”

He said family and friends received counselling from Fire and Rescue Services councillors assisted by lifeguards, police and at the Milnerton Surf Lifesaving Club.

Police have opened an inquest docket.

“It appears that a group of friends had been at the beach since mid-morning when the two men were caught in rip currents while swimming. NSRI, lifeguards, police and the combined emergency services are appealing to bathers to only swim at beaches protected by lifeguards,” Lambinon said.

“Local residents are commended, despite the sad outcome, for their swift reaction that managed to get both men to the beach. Our thoughts are with the survivor at the hospital where doctors and nurses are fighting to save his life,” Lambinon said.