PICS: Body of drowned motorist recovered after his vehicle plunged into Pretoria river
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Pretoria - Rescue teams have recovered the body of a motorist whose vehicle was swept off a low-lying bridge on the Haartebees Spruit bridge which flows into the Roodeplaat dam.
Spokesperson for the Tshwane emergency services department, Thabo Charles Mabaso, said the body of the man in a sport utility vehicle was removed from the river at about 8am on Sunday.
“A team of divers and rescue technicians from the Tshwane emergency services department, Gauteng emergency medical services, SAPS and a towing service recovered the body of the man and the SUV he was driving in from the Haartebees Spruit [bridge] in the Roodeplaat area just after 8am on December 5 [Sunday],” said Mabaso.
“The Tshwane emergency services department received a call before midnight on [Saturday] where it was reported that a light motor vehicle was swept off a low crossing bridge near Hangelaar and Seekoei Rood in the Roodeplaat area, with victims possibly trapped inside the vehicle.”
Mabaso said emergency response teams were immediately dispatched to the area, and upon arrival at the incident, they noticed what seemed like a motor vehicle which was submerged in the water.
“Emergency teams could not enter the water to carry out a search because of the high level and speed of the water as well as poor visibility because of the time of the night and the rainfall. The search was suspended and resumed just before 6am this morning,” he said.
He said a ‘croc boat’ and divers launched into the river, and recovered the body of the man estimated to be in his fifties.
The body of the motorist was still in the submerged vehicle.
“The team used winches from service 4x4 vehicles and a towing vehicle to recover the SUV from the spruit,” said Mabaso.
The Tshwane emergency services department has shared tips for residents:
• Avoid low-lying bridges during a flood.
• If trapped in a vehicle during a flood, abandon the vehicle and climb to high ground.
• Do not drive on a road if it is completely covered by water and you cannot see the road surface.
• Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognise flood dangers.
• Avoid low spots, like ditches, basements or underpasses as these become extremely dangerous during a flash flood.