NSRI records five drownings at the weekend
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CAPE TOWN - The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) has recorded five fatalities at beaches across the country. Three of the fatalities took place within the Western Cape as the province recorded its hottest days.
On Saturday morning, a NSRI Gordons Bay coxswain who lives in a block of apartments in Strand was alerted by the caretaker who noticed the lifeless body of a man floating in the apartment block swimming pool.
The member rescued the 60-year-old resident from the swimming pool and immediately initiated cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) efforts.
Ambulances services responded to the emergency call, and all efforts to resuscitate the man were exhausted.
The man was declared dead at the scene.
The NSRI said it had been suspected that the man may have suffered a medical condition while swimming, and police have opened an inquest docket for investigation.
Later during the day, just after 2pm, the NSRI Simon’s Town duty crew and the City of Cape Town water rescue network were activated after eyewitness reports stated a drawing was in progress at Glencairn Beach.
According to the NSRI Simon’s Town Station Commander, Darren Zimmerman, a trainee crew member who lives across the road from the beach and was at the beach at the time had launched into the water with the NSRI pink rescue buoy after being alerted to a commotion where bystanders were pointing towards a man being swept out to sea in rip currents.
“NSRI Simon’s Town launched the sea rescue craft Spirit of Surfski II, an NSRI rescue vehicle, CMR (Cape Medical Response), Fish Hoek Lifesaving lifeguards, Western Cape Government Health Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services, and Law Enforcement officers responded.
“The NSRI member reached the man in the surf zone, finding him lifeless in the water.
“Using the rescue buoy to aid floatation, the current swept them further out to sea where they were both rescued onto the sea rescue craft,” Zimmerman said.
CPR efforts on the 46-year-old man were conducted.
He said the man was taken to the False Bay Yacht Club, where paramedics continued with extensive CPR efforts. However, the man was declared dead.
Zimmerman said the body of the man was taken into the care of the provincial health forensic pathology services.
An inquest docket was opened by police.
In a separate incident at Monwabisi, City of Cape Town lifeguards at Monwabisi Main Beach were alerted to a lifeless body that washed out onto the far east section of the beach.
Lifeguards, Traffic Services, Law Enforcement officers responded to the scene and alerted the City’s water rescue network.
CPR was performed on a 37-year-old man from Mfuleni.
The man was declared dead at the scene.
An inquest docket has been opened by police.
In the North West, a search for a missing nine-year-old boy continued in the Tholwane River, Madikwe, North West of Rustenberg.
Police in the area had been alerted on Friday late afternoon about a child being swept away by currents while playing at the river with three friends.
NSRI Hartbeespoort Dam Station Commander Arthur Crewe said the boy’s three friends raised the alarm.
“NSRI Hartbeespoort Dam crew and Strategic Rescue Unit (SRU) crew joined police divers and police officers on the scene searching along the river and at Madikwe Dam.
“Search efforts, hampered by the swollen river, remote and difficult barely accessible terrain, were joined by community members.
“A police helicopter was activated to join in the search.
“During the police helicopter search, the body of the child was located and recovered from the water approximately eight kilometres downstream from where the child had been swimming with a friend,” Crewe said.
An inquest has been opened for investigation, and the community was commended for assisting during the search.
In KwaZulu-Natal, the NSRI Richards Bay duty crew were activated after they received reports of a police search and rescue of a drawing in progress near Bay Hall, offshore of Pelican Island.
NSRI Station Commander Mike Patterson said the incident occurred on Friday just after 3pm.
“The sea rescue craft Grindrod Rescuer and a Police boat were launched, and lifeguards on Malibu rescue boards responded.
“On arrival on the scene, a search commenced for a 14-year-old female who had disappeared under water after appearing to be in difficulty approximately 50 meters off-shore.
“During a search, the body of the teenager was located and recovered by police scuba divers from under water,” Patterson said.
The girl was declared dead by medical personnel.
Police have opened an inquest docket.