Two children were hospitalised and five died of drowning in KwaZulu-Natal over the New Year’s weekend. Picture: NSRI

The KwaZulu-Natal emergency services had their hands full over the New Year’s weekend.

Five people drowned and two children were hospitalised after nearly drowning while a lighting strike left two dead and three injured and one person was injured in a a fire.

A police helicopter also crashed in the Drakensberg mountains, near Cathedral Peak, yesterday.

Police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala confirmed the incident but said no-one had died and only “slight injuries” were sustained.

Also yesterday, a 15-year-old boy died in hospital after he had been swept out to sea in Richards Bay.

The National Sea Rescue Institute said its Richards Bay duty crew dispatched the sea rescue craft Grindrod Rescuer to Naval Island and found the boy with assistance from a Transnet National Ports Authority helicopter.

"After successful CPR on the scene the patient was transported to hospital by ambulance in a critical condition." 

However, he later died of his injuries in hospital.

In another incident a boy - just 4 years old - was hospitalised, after nearly drowning at a pool, near an Umhlanga Beach, on New Year’s Eve.

Netcare 911’s Shawn Herbst said reports from the scene indicated the child was found floating in a pool and that bystanders pulled him out.

Umhlanga lifeguards were called to the scene and upon finding the child unresponsive with no pulse, started CPR on him.

A Netcare 911 emergency care practitioner arrived a short time later and took over.

“A pulse was regained and the child was immediately transported to hospital in a critical condition for further assessment and care,” Herbst said.