At 14h00 (Wednesday, 31st October) NSRI St Francis Bay volunteer rescue duty crew were activated following reports of a drowning in progress at The Cove, in the canal at St Francis Bay.
An off-duty NSRI St Francis Bay volunteer trainee who was near the scene at the time was alerted by bystanders that a child, aged 11 years old, was in difficulty in the water where a group of children had been swimming in the canal. The NSRI volunteer rushed over and swam towards where the child was seen to be in difficulty in the water but before the NSRI volunteer could reach the child the child had disappeared under water. The NSRI volunteer then tried desperately to try to locate the child underwater by free diving at the location but was not able to locate the child.
Our NSRI St Francis Bay volunteer sea rescue duty crew and the SA Police Services responded by road and NSRI rescue swimmers were deployed into the water to free dive on the location but despite an extensive search no sign of the child could be been found.
A Police dive unit were activated and deployed into the water to conduct a scuba dive search and at approximately 18h00 the body of the child was located underwater and the body has been recovered by Police divers and confirmed to be deceased and handed into the care of the Forensic Pathology Services.
Police have not released the name of the child, who is from Sea Vista, St Francis Bay, and the family of the child is in the care of Police Trauma Counselors.
It is not known what caused the child to get into difficulty in the water and investigations into the incident have been opened by Police. Police have opened an inquest docket.
NSRI extends our sincere condolences to the family.