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Three drownings and one rescue in the Western Cape at the weekend

A 10-year-old girl drowned while swimming with her brother at Gordons Bay in the Western Cape on Saturday.
A 10-year-old girl drowned while swimming with her brother at Gordons Bay in the Western Cape on Saturday.
Image: Paul Fleet/123rf.com

Police have opened an inquest after the death of a 10-year-old girl who drowned on Saturday at Gordons Bay in the Western Cape, while police divers are still searching for the bodies of two men who went missing on the same day in the province. 

According to Alan Meiklejohn, NSRI Gordons Bay station commander, their duty crew and GB Med ambulance services were activated after reports from the City of Cape Town lifeguards at Gordons Bay Main Beach of a drowning in progress.

“On arrival on the scene, lifeguards had initiated a search for a local 10-year-old female missing in the surf. Reportedly she had been swimming with her brother when she may have waded too deep into the water and her brother raised the alarm,” Meiklejohn said in a statement. 

He said the NSRI and emergency services joined in the search and the child was located and recovered from the water about 50m across the beach line from where she had been in the water. 

“Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) efforts were commenced and the child was transported to hospital by ER24 ambulance in a critical condition with CPR continuing to be administered in the ambulance,” Meiklejohn said. 

On arrival at the hospital, doctors and nurses continued with CPR efforts but after all efforts to resuscitate the child were exhausted she was declared deceased by doctors.

In another reported incident, police divers are still searching for a man who went missing at Doringbaai harbour, also in the Western Cape on Saturday. 

According to Matthys Koch, NSRI Lamberts Bay station manager, on Saturday afternoon their NSRI duty crew were activated after police reports of a man missing in Doringbaai harbour.

“On arrival on the scene our sea rescue craft jet rib Rescue 45 was launched to assist police in a search for a 37-year-old male, from Loeriefontein, who had disappeared underwater after reportedly jumping off a pier into the water,” Koch said in a statement. 

He said eyewitnesses reported that the man had held onto an anchor chain of a boat at anchor appearing to rest before disappearing underwater. An extensive search has revealed no sign of the man. A police dive unit was alerted and the search for the man was continuing.

Still in the Western Cape, in Mossel Bay, the NSIR duty crew were activated following reports of a drowning in progress on the Gouritz River.

Andre Fraser, NSRI Mossel Bay station commander, said the sea rescue craft Rescue 15 Bravo was towed to the scene to be launched and the SA Police Service, Mossel Bay Fire and Rescue Services and WC Government Health EMS ambulance and EMS rescue squad responded.

“On arrival on the scene, 10km along the Gouritz River, from the N2 motorway, a search was launched for a 40-year-old Mossel Bay man who had disappeared underwater while swimming. Two bystanders had entered the water to try to assist and one of the bystanders was treated by EMS paramedics for non-fatal drowning symptoms sustained during efforts to try to find the man underwater,” Fraser said. 

He said despite an extensive search, including by sea rescue craft, and a search along the banks of the river there remains no sign of the missing man.

A police dive unit is continuing with the search. The man's wife and their four-year-old child are in the care of the police.

Earlier on the same day, eyewitnesses at the Klein Brak River alerted emergency services about a lifeless man floating on the river. The NSIR duty crew towed a sea rescue craft Rescue 15 Bravo to the river where they found that fire and rescue services officers had located the man who was found collapsed and unconscious on the river bank and they administered medical care.

“NSRI medics joined them and the man was carried on a stretcher to a nearby residence garden where medical treatment was continued by paramedics. He was resuscitated and treated for non-fatal drowning symptoms and he has made a full recovery,” he said. 

Meanwhile in Clanwilliam Dam in the Western Cape, NSRI lifeguards, assisted by public members and private boat crews, rescued a 17-year-old local male from the water at Clanwilliam Dam after the teenager got into difficulties while swimming.

“The teenager was brought to the shore where medical treatment was commenced by NSRI lifeguards. WC Government Health EMS rescue squad and EMS ambulance were activated. The teenager was transported to hospital by EMS ambulance in a serious but stable condition.  He is expected to make a full recovery,” Matthys Koch, NSRI lifeguard manager (Cederberg and Matzikama municipalities) said. 


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