Five confirmed drowned in Vaal River incident
Johannesburg - Five people were confirmed drowned and their bodies recovered after a boat with seven on board capsized on Saturday evening on the Vaal River near the Spider Valley Road, near Vereeniging.
“All seven passengers have now been accounted for, with five fatalities confirmed. The identities of the deceased cannot be disclosed at this stage until their next of kin have been informed,” said Gauteng police spokesperson Brigadier Mathapelo Peters.
Paramedics declared one man dead when they arrived on the scene on Saturday while another man and a woman survived and declined transportation to hospital.
“The man explained that the boat was taking on water when it capsized," said ER24 spokesperson Ross Campbell.
On Sunday the Water Police and Diving Services specialised unit of the SAPS in Gauteng recovered the bodies of four others close to Sasolburg in the Free State, Peters said.
The boat was also found and retrieved from the river.
Gauteng Commissioner of police, Lieutenant General Elias Mawela commended the “determination, professionalism and attention to detail” demonstrated by the team.
The investigation into the circumstances surrounding the multiple drownings is underway. Police will work closely with the South African Marine Safety Authority on the investigation, Peters said.