Hopes of finding KZN boy dimming

Sne Masuku

Sne Masuku

A school outing ended in tragedy on Tuesday when a 17-year-old schoolboy drowned after being swept away by ocean waves at St Lucia on the KwaZulu-Natal north coast.

A huge search for Zamo Mlambo entered its second day yesterday, but hopes of finding his body were fading.

Mlambo was a pupil at the Mabandleni High School at Ubombo.

Rescue workers said his schoolmates were devastated by the incident.

A joint operation by the Mtubatuba police, the Richards Bay Water Wing and St Lucia Natural Reserve has been launched to expedite the search, which began immediately after the incident.

One pupil, Maria Sibiya was also almost swept away by the waves, but other pupils swimming close by pulled her to safety.

The pupils did not realise that the strong current had overwhelmed Mlambo.

Mlambo's friends said they were swimming together when a huge wave suddenly engulfed all of them.

The pupils only realised Mlambo was missing after the teachers counted them just before leaving the seaside.

Attempts by the pupils and teachers to find the missing boy failed, prompting them to alert police.

Police spokesman Jabulani Mdletshe said the pupils told their teachers Mlambo was swimming with them when they were engulfed by the huge wave.