File picture: Supplied

Port Elizabeth - A 21-year-old woman drowned at Kiddies Beach in the Kowie River in Port Alfred on Thursday while trying to rescue a group of children, police said. 

Police spokesperson Captain Mali Govender said the incident occurred just after 12 noon on Thursday when a group of six children were playing in the sea. 

“The children, one male and the others females between 10 and 15 years old, were in the water when they got into difficulty,” said Govender. 

Govender said it was alleged that the woman from Bathurst noticed that the younger ones were in trouble and tried to help them.

“In a panic they all clung to [her]. Six bystanders who were close by noticed what had happened and went out to assist.” 

Govender said all the children except the woman were brought to safety. 

“Emergency services responded within minutes and the children were taken to a local hospital were they are being treated. One of the victims who is believed to be critical has been transported to a hospital in Port Elizabeth,” she said. 

The cluster commander of Port Alfred, Brigadier Morgan Govender expressed shock over the incident. 

“I am deeply saddened by the loss. My sincere condolences to the family of the victim who has passed away. We hold you in our prayers and wish the other little ones a speedy recovery. May the Lord grant you strength during this difficult period,” he said. 

African News Agency/ANA