On Tuesday, 08th January, at first light, at St Lucia Beach, 80 km North East of Richards Bay, KZN Wildlife Rangers and Police conducted a beach patrol in the ongoing search for a 22 year old local man who went missing yesterday after being swept out to sea by rip-currents.
Police confirmed to NSRI Richards Bay this morning that during the beach patrol the body of the man was found washed up on the beach and the body of the man has been recovered and handed into the care of the Forensic Pathology Services.
See original media release below…
Dorian Robertson, NSRI Richards Bay duty coxswain, said:
“On Monday, 07th January, at 16h45 NSRI Richards Bay volunteer sea rescue duty crew were activated following eye-witness reports of a man in difficulty in the surf at St Lucia Beach, 80 kilometers North East of Richards Bay.
“Our NSRI Richards Bay volunteer sea rescue duty crew responded by road towing our Surf 420 sea rescue boat ROTARY ANN (to be launched on-scene) and the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) rescue helicopter, carrying two NSRI rescue swimmers, was dispatched while KZN Wildlife rangers and Police were activated to also respond to the scene.
“At that stage eye-witnesses still had a visual of a 22 year old local man who had reportedly been standing in waist deep water in the surf line when a strong rip-current swept him out to sea.
“On the TNPA rescue helicopter’s arrival on-scene there was no longer any sign of the man who had disappeared under water while struggling against the rip-current prior to sea rescue’s arrival.
“A private boat belonging to Advantage Tours had already begun a search and our sea rescue boat joined in the search but despite an extensive air, sea and shore search no sign of the man has been found and he is missing and he is presumed to have drowned.
“The search has been suspended until first light and a Police Search and Rescue team and a Police Dive Unit have arrived at the location and they will resume the search for the missing man tomorrow (Tuesday, 08th January).
“Police have opened an inquest docket and the family of the man are being assisted by the Police.”