A motorist was saved after his vehicle was swept away in a strong river current. Photo: SAPS
A motorist was saved after his vehicle was swept away in a strong river current. Photo: SAPS

Appreciation for Northern Cape police who risked their own lives to save flood victims

By ANA Reporter Time of article published Feb 10, 2021

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Cape Town- Police in the Northern Cape have been commended for saving lives and providing humanitarian services during a flood in the John Taolo Gaetsewe area.

In a statement released on Wednesday, provincial police spokesperson Colonel Mashay Gamieldien, said members of the South African Police Service’s Kimberley Search and Rescue Unit had placed their own lives at risk to rescue victims who were trapped in flooded areas and recover bodies of victims who drowned in strong-flowing rivers.

“The team under the command of Captain John Seeley, including Warrant Officers Ronsard Allen, Michael Korasie, Sergeants Lamberd Scholtz, Sebastian Wildt, Disang Moholoeng, Arnold Strydom and Constable Sheena Floors also formed part of a collective multidisciplinary humanitarian team headed by the premier of the Northern Cape, Dr Zamani Saul, and various dignitaries, including the acting provincial commissioner Major-General Henriette De Waal and the John Taolo Gaeteswe acting district commander Brigadier Francis Hender to distribute eight tons of food to the stranded flood victims on February 4, 2021,” Gamieldien said.

She said on February 6, officers retrieved the body of a 14-year-old boy who was believed to have drowned in the irrigation dam in Barkly West along the Pniel community farm.

She said that on the same day Captain Seeley and Warrant Officer Korasie responded to an incident where a family of five were in distress in the river in the Boetsap area.

“It was believed that the family who were travelling in a donkey cart was washed away and trapped in the river. The two members were airlifted from Kuruman airport by an SANDF Oryx helicopter and flown to the scene, where they executed a live bait rescue which involved the lifting of each family member from the river. The family was brought to safety and dropped along the road, where the owner of the farm further assisted them,” Gamieldien said.

Members of the SAPS distributed eight tons of food for residents affected by the flooding. Photo: SAPS

She said a 40-year-old man travelling on the same donkey cart was swept away and his body was only recovered on Monday at 12.20pm.

Fortunately, none of the family members sustained injuries.

Gamieldien said the team also assisted in recovering a motorists whose vehicle was swept away by a strong-flowing river at the Spitskop Dam. The driver was found trapped between trees and brought to safety.

“The acting provincial commissioner of the Northern Cape, Major-General Henriette De Waal, expressed her sincere gratitude and appreciation to the members of the Kimberley Search and Rescue Unit who gallantly placed their own lives in danger in order to assist and rescue members of the community who were in distress,” she added.

African News Agency (ANA)

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