Stefan Sonnthal's body was retrieved from the Hazelmere Dam on Monday afternoon. Picture: Facebook
Stefan Sonnthal's body was retrieved from the Hazelmere Dam on Monday afternoon. Picture: Facebook

He was a 'fun-loving and caring person', says mom of boater killed in Hazelmere Dam freak accident

By Se-Anne Rall Time of article published Aug 25, 2021

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DURBAN - Stefan Sonnthal, the 30-year-old man who died in a freak boating accident at the weekend, has been described as a "fun-loving, caring, family person".

Sonnthal's body was retrieved from the Hazelmere Dam on Monday afternoon.

IPSS Medical Rescue spokesperson Paul Herbst said Sonnthal went missing on Sunday after he fell off a boat and failed to surface.

It is alleged that he had been on a boat with two friends when he fell off it and hit a propeller.

Speaking to East Coast Radio, Susan Sonnthal said her son had moved back to South Africa after attending a university abroad. Two years ago, he moved to Umdloti.

She said he had dual American-South African citizenship

Sonnthal was a free-diving and scuba instructor. According to Susan Sonnthal, her son was a fun-loving, caring, family person, who was a loyal South African.

"My son had done a free-diving course. He could hold his breath underwater for four minutes. It has nothing to do with how good a swimmer you are. He wasn't wearing a life jacket ... but if he'd worn a life jacket, I wouldn't had spent two days waiting for them to find him," she said.

She has urged people participating in water activities to wear life jackets.

"And if there is any good that could come from this loss, it is to impress on everyone to please, I don't care how calm the water is, I don't care how experienced you are, put on a life jacket," she said

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