File photo: NSRI

Wilderness - A teenager has drowned while swimming at Island Lake at Wilderness on the Southern Cape Coast, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) said on Sunday. 

NSRI Wilderness duty crew, the South African Police Service (SAPS), Western Cape government health emergency medical services (EMS), and Eden 911 ambulance service responded to Island Lake, Wilderness, just before 1pm on Saturday afternoon following reports of a male teenager missing in the lake, NSRI Wilderness duty controller Mike Vonk said.

"On our arrival on the scene we found bystander CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) was in progress on 17-year-old Colin Prins from Mossel Bay, and NSRI medics and paramedics, assisted by GLYC (George Lakes Yacht Club) members and assisted by bystanders, continued with CPR, but sadly after extensive efforts to resuscitate the teenager were exhausted he was declared deceased," he said.

"Colin, a member of Mossel Bay Yacht and Boat Club, had been at Island Lake to take part in a yacht regatta that was postponed due to strong winds, and he was among a number of yacht regatta participants who had gone for a swim in the lake while waiting to see if the regatta would resume later, when he appeared to get into difficulty and he disappeared under water."

Eyewitnesses raised the alarm and two GLYC safety boats were immediately deployed and swimmers who were there at the time joined a search. 

A swimmer who assisted in a water search was believed to be a former navy diver and according to reports he located and recovered the teenager from underwater. He was then rushed to shore aboard one of the GLYC safety boats where CPR was commenced. 

Police have opened an inquest docket, Vonk said.

 African News Agency/ANA