Camps Bay Police and a Police Dive Unit headed an ongoing search operation for two missing male teenagers, both 16, who went missing yesterday while trying to rescue their friend, 15, who had been swept out to sea by rip currents.
The two 16 year olds were also caught in rip currents and disappeared beneath the surface of the water. The 15 year old who was rescued by a bystander has since been released from hospital.
Assisting the Camps Bay Police and the Police Dive Unit today were a Police K-9 dog search and rescue unit, WC SAPS Communications, WC Government Health EMS rescue divers, Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services rescue divers, NSRI Bakoven, Law Enforcement, Metro Police, The City of Cape Town Disaster Management Operations, Camps Bay Security Initiative, Community Medics and Cape Town Traffic Services.
A total of 18 divers, made up from Police divers, Metro EMS rescue divers and Fire and Rescue Services rescue divers, formed a sweeping line search to sweep the Camps Bay surf from one end to the other, assisted by a Police boat and Police jet-ski’s. A total of 6 sweeps were conducted in rough sea conditions and strong rip currents. Water Visibility was good despite rough sea conditions.
NSRI Bakoven volunteer rescue swimmers stood by onshore as safety rescue swimmers.
The Police K-9 dog search and rescue squad conducted shore patrols.
Trauma Counselors from the City of Cape Town Distaster Management Operations, from the Department of Education and from Camps Bay Police assisted the learners and their teachers who were dispatched to the beach as part of their grief counseling before embarking on their trip home to Zeerust.
The school are assisting family members of the two missing learners.
No sign of the two missing teenagers has been found.
A Police Dive Unit and Camps Bay Police will continue ongoing search operations
Media that attended the scene today are commended for their responsible approach to the ongoing Police search operation.
At 17h11 on Wednesday the 25th of September NSRI Bakoven crew were activated by the Transnet National Ports Authority following reports of a drowning in progress at Camps Bay Beach.
We launched our sea rescue craft ROTARIAN SCHIPPER and NSRI rescue swimmers, the SA Police Services, Community Medics, WC Government Health EMS, Netcare 911 ambulance services, ER24 ambulance services, Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services, Camps Bay Security Initiative, the Police Dive Unit, the Red Cross AMS Skymed helicopter and Cape Town Traffic Services also responded.
Marine Scene, a water safety and marine events company, while conducting a film shoot stand-by on Camps Bay Beach, had initially responded their stand-by rescue swimmers while raising the alarm. Their rescue swimmers had conducted an extensive search in the surf line and had continued to assist rescue authorities well into the search and rescue operation.
A school group from North West Province had been on the beach together, with teachers, on their last day in Cape Town during a school tour from R.B. Dithupe Primary School, Zeerust.
According to teachers at the scene, one of the learners, a 15 year old male, had been swept out to sea by rip currents. Two fellow learners, both 16 years of age, had gone into the water to try to rescue him but both were also swept away by a rip current. The 15 year old was rescued from the surf by an unidentified bystander. He was transported to hospital in a stable condition by ER24 ambulance for observation for secondary drowning. It was confirmed that both 16 year old teenagers had disappeared beneath the surf.
An extensive sea, air and shore search, including free dive rescue swimmers and Police Divers searching in the surf line, has revealed no sign of the two missing teenagers who are presumed to have drowned.
The City of Cape Town Disaster Management Operations and Police are conducting trauma counseling for the children and teachers.
The search has been suspended and Police Divers assisted by WC Government Health EMS, Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services and NSRI will resume a search at first light.
Police have opened an inquiry into the incident.
“Bystanders that were on the beach are commended for their assistance with the search rescue operation.”