At 16h50 NSRI Knysna crew were activated following reports from local stand-up paddle (SUP) boarder Tony Cook, of the local charter boat company Tony Cook Charters. The body of a female child was found floating face down in the water opposite Leisure Isle, Knysna Lagoon.
Tony had managed to recover the body of the child onto his SUP and had initiated rescue breathing efforts on the child while attempting to also paddle towards shore. When a rubber-duck came past, Tony flagged down the rubber-duck who took the child onboard the rubber duck and raced to shore to rendezvous with NSRI.
Our NSRI Knysna crew and Police responded and rendezvoused with the rubber-duck on the shore where our NSRI medics and our NSRI doctor, Dr Trollip, initiated Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) efforts on the child.
An ER24 ambulance responded and the child was rushed to hospital while advanced life support CPR efforts continued but sadly, after ongoing CPR attempts continued in hospital, the young girl, estimated to be aged between 7 and 9 years old, was declared deceased.
Initially there was no sign of family or any people seeming to be associated to the child in the vicinity and the child remained unidentified. It appears that later people came forward to Police claiming that they were with the child at the time and that they had been observing the child on the water but that they had thought that the child was only swimming. Their relationship to the child and their account of the events is being investigated by Police.
Police have opened an inquest docket.