During the mid afternoon of Sunday, 10th August, NSRI Table Bay volunteer sea rescue duty crew were activated by the Transnet National Ports Authority following reports of two children missing in the mouth of the Black River, Paarden Eiland.
Our NSRI Table Bay volunteer sea rescue duty crew launched sea rescue craft and our sea rescue vehicle, WC Government Health EMS and Rescue, the Red Cross AMS Skymed rescue helicopter, SA Police Services, a Police Dive Unit, Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services and Cape Town Fire and Rescue divers, Life Care Paramedic Response and ER24 ambulance services responded.
On arrival on-scene it was determined that 5 male children, from Elsies River, had been swept out to sea on a small floating barge of barrels (it appears a floating object that they had reportedly found near to the river mouth) and it appears that on realising that they were being swept too far into the sea, about 100 meters off-shore, they jumped off of the floating barrels to swim to shore but two of the children, both aged 13, disappeared under water while the remaining three children, all aged 14, managed to reach the shore.
It appears that earlier the children had arrived in the area by train. They had earlier reportedly been seen playing under the Marine Drive bridge in the Black River and they had been chased away from the area by local security guards.
Security guards in the area had witnessed the incident and they raised the alarm.
The three survivors were transported to hospital by EMS ambulance in stable conditions for observation for secondary drowning and they were accompanied in the care of Police and Police trauma counsellors and efforts are being made by Police to find family of the two missing teenagers and to return the three survivors home following counselling and medical observation in hospital.
Despite an extensive sea, air and shore search, involving two sea rescue craft, bystanders private boats, the Skymed helicopter, Police divers, WC Government Health EMS rescue divers, CT Fire and Rescue divers and NSRI rescue swimmers, no sign of the two missing children have been found and Police are continuing an ongoing search which will include Police divers and Cape Town Fire and Rescue divers entering the water tomorrow morning as part of the ongoing search operation.
Police have opened an investigation into the incident.
It is not known where the floating barge had come from but the barge has been taken into police custody as part of the investigation.