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Port Alfred - A man drowned after the boat he was skippering capsized in the surf while leaving the Kowie River mouth at Port Alfred on Saturday morning, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) said.

NSRI Port Alfred duty crew were activated at 6.42am following reports of a boat capsized by waves in the Kowie River Mouth while exiting the harbour to go to sea with two men on board, NSRI Port Alfred station commander Juan Pretorius said.

The sea rescue craft Rescue 11 Alpha was launched and the sea rescue vehicle with NSRI rescue swimmers, Eastern Cape government health emergency medical services (EMS), and the South African Police Service (SAPS) responded to East Beach, he said.

"On arrival on the scene we found the local ski-boat Diligo capsized and washed on to a sandbank in the surfline at East Beach. One man, aged in his 50s, was found safe on the beach suffering minor injuries, and his friend, the skipper of the boat, a man aged in his 60s, was missing in the surf after their boat had capsized in the three to four metre swells in the Kowie River mouth harbour exit."

During a search, the body of the man was located in shallow surf at East Beach and recovered by NSRI rescue swimmers. He was declared dead by paramedics. The man was originally from Johannesburg but was living in Port Alfred. Police had opened an inquest docket. The NSRI conveyed condolences to the man's family, Pretorius said.

African News Agency/ANA