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Richards Bay - A boy, believed to be about 10 years old, drowned and two younger children were rescued by a bystander after the three got into difficulty while swimming at Richards Bay on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast on Sunday afternoon, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) said.

NSRI Richards duty crew responded at 1.35pm to the Blind Canal area next to Bay Hall at Richards Bay following reports of a drowning in progress, NSRI Richards Bay duty coxswain Jacques Kruger said.

"A bystander jet-skier, who had been able to rescue two of three children from the water, raced to our NSRI base and alerted our NSRI duty crew who were at the base at the time on routine training, reporting one child still missing and the two children that he rescued were safe but injured," he said.

The NSRI Richards Bay duty crew responded along with police search and rescue, KwaZulu-Natal emergency medical and rescue services (EMRS), and others.

On arrival on the scene the two rescued children, aged about six and seven, were treated for non-fatal drowning symptoms and were transported to hospital by ambulance, both in a stable condition.

Police search and rescue scuba divers searched for and located and recovered the body of the missing child, believed to be aged 10, who had sadly been declared dead. Police had opened an inquest docket.

"It appears the three children, accompanied to the water by adults, were swimming when they got into difficulty. A bystander on a jet-ski rescued two children, and then on learning that a third child remained missing he raced across to the sea rescue base to raise the alarm while other bystanders assisted the two rescued children on the shore while searching for the third child," Kruger said.

African News Agency (ANA)