NSRI can confirm that the body of a 28 year old man that went missing in a drowning accident at St Francis Bay has been recovered by NSRI St Francis Bay duty crew aboard sea rescue craft late on Sunday afternoon 300 meters off-shore in the vicinity where the man went missing on 04th January.
The body of the man has been taken into the care of the Forensic Pathology Services and Police have opened an inquest docket.
Condolences are conveyed to family and friends.
ST FRANCIS BAY:
Sarah Smith, NSRI St Francis Bay station commander, said:
At 12h38, Thursday, 04th January, NSRI St Francis Bay duty crew were activated following reports of multiple people in difficulty in the surf at Anne Avenue Beach.
The sea rescue craft Spirit of St Francis II was launched and NSRI rescue swimmers raced to the beach to join 4 Kouga Municipal lifeguards, 3 Volunteer lifeguards and 2 local surfers who were in the surf attempting to rescue 9 persons from the water at Anne Avenue Beach (an unprotected beach not patrolled by lifeguards) who had been swept out to sea by rip currents.
NSRI rescue swimmers swam out to the lifeguards who confirmed that they had 8 casualties in a group with 7 lifeguards and a surfer assisting and they continued towards the beach.
The NSRI rescue swimmers then swam to a surfer who was helping one casualty and the surfer was able to get that casualty to the shore.
Once all 9 casualties were out of the surf they were all medically checked by paramedics from Private Care ambulance services and required no further medical care.
It was then confirmed that one person remained unaccounted for, a local 28 year old man, and the NSRI sea rescue craft, a Private fixed wing aircraft, a Police helicopter and a K-9 Search and Rescue team and a Police Dive Unit joined in the ongoing search operation but despite an extensive search no sign of the missing man has been found.
Police will continue an ongoing search and recovery operation and Police have opened an investigation.
NSRI commend the lifeguards and the 2 surfers who rescued 9 persons from the water and NSRI thank the private plane that assisted in the ongoing search for one man who sadly remains missing.