DURBAN - The body of a man who was swept off a bridge in the north of KwaZulu-Natal during heavy rains on Sunday has been recovered, a private security and rescue company has said.
The body of the man, whose name is known to African News Agency, was recovered in the Verulam area on Monday night, Reaction Unit South Africa (RUSA) head, Prem Balram, said in a statement.
He was swept off a bridge at Mslasini, Everest Heights, during heavy rains and his body was recovered about one kilometre downstream.
"At approximately 20:47 [on Sunday] Reaction Unit South Africa received a call from a local councillor requesting assistance after he witnessed two men being swept off the bridge during the heavy downpour. One person is suspected to have grabbed onto vegetation and managed to pull himself out of the river while [the deceased] was swept away by the heavy current," said Balram.
He said the South African Police Service (SAPS) search and rescue and Metro Police officers conducted a brief search on Monday but the rescue attempt was called off due to inclement weather and rising river levels. At first light the search commenced, but the heavy current made it difficult for rescuers and specialised police dogs to enter the river.
"This afternoon the RUSA Robinson R44 helicopter took off to assist the community and family of [the deceased] to search for his body. While hovering over vegetation in the water members of the community entered the river and discovered the body trapped amongst the reeds.
"Reaction officers also entered the river and assisted in freeing the body. RUSA officers, with assistance from the public, carried the body with specialised equipment upstream and into an open field. His family, who travelled from Illovo on the South Coast, confirmed his identity."
The man lived alone in Verulam and was employed at a stationery company.
African News Agency (ANA)