File picture: Supplied

Durban - Four children, including twins, have drowned while swimming in a northern KwaZulu-Natal dam.

Police spokeswoman Colonel Thembeka Mbhele, said the children, between the ages of 5 and 13, were swimming in the Msweli Dam in Entoyeni area, kwaMbonambi outside Richards Bay.

According to National Sea Rescue Institute's Norman Rautenbach, they were called out to the scene after another child who was not swimming alerted community members when he noticed the four struggling in the water on Monday afternoon.

“We dispatched a sea rescue vehicle with NSRI rescue swimmers and on arrival on the scene found police search and rescue divers. During a dive and sweeping line search we located and recovered the bodies of 4 children,” said Rautenbach.

It is believed the children were from a local primary school.

Mbhele said said an inquest docket was opened to investigate the circumstances around the incident.

Between December 1 last year and January 2 this year, the  NSRI responded to 132 operations in which 193 people were rescued. Unfortunately 37 of these were fatal drownings, of which 14 children.

The Mercury