Cape Town - The body of a missing paddler has been found at Marina Da Gama, Muizenberg in Cape Town, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) said on Saturday.
NSRI Strandfontein were activated at 9.24pm on Friday night following a request for assistance from a concerned family reporting a 74-year-old man family member suspected to be missing on the water at Marina Da Gama after failing to return from a paddle, spokesman Craig Lambinon said.
It was believed that he had departed to paddle to another home on the marina earlier in the day, and when family members arrived home in the early evening he was not at home and also not at the other residence. His canoe was also not found, raising concerns that he could be missing on the marina.
Local neighbourhood watch, friends, and a large community effort had started a search, and the South African Police Service (SAPS) were also called. NSRI Strandfontein dispatched a jet-ski and rescue swimmers, Cape Town fire and rescue services dispatched their fire dive unit and jet-skis, NSRI Kommetjie dispatched rescue swimmers and and a sea rescue craft, NSRI Simonstown dispatched a search support team, and Cape Medical Response (CMR) dispatched a medical rescue crew, he said.
"During an extensive search the canoe was found during the early hours of the morning [Saturday] appearing to be washed ashore, raising concerns that the man was missing in the marina, and a search continued for the missing man."
But after no sign of the man was found during the early hours of the morning the search was suspended and resumed at 7.30am on Saturday morning, with the assistance of a police dive unit and a police helicopter, supported by a fire and rescue services dive unit, NSRI Strandfontein, and a large effort by the local neighbourhood watch and community members.
"It has been revealed that the canoe had been found on Friday afternoon by a resident who thought nothing of a canoe found floating on the marina and he had recovered the canoe to his yard thinking it had been abandoned or washed off a nearby yard.
"Sadly, during the ongoing search, the body of the man was located and recovered by police divers and the body will be taken into the care of the forensic pathology services. Police have opened an inquest docket. All emergency services teams on the scene have expressed condolences to family and friends. The huge public and community support and assistance is commended," Lambinon said.
African News Agency/ANA