John Nicholas, NSRI Port Edward station commander, said:
At 13h19, Saturday, 25th August, NSRI Port Edward duty crew were activated following reports from lifeguards of a drowning in progress at the lagoon at the Wild Coast Sun Casino New Waterpark in the Mzamba Lagoon
Our sea rescue jetski craft was towed to the scene and launched and NSRI Port Edward rescue swimmers, a Police Search and Rescue unit, the SA Police Services and Med-Evac ambulance services responded.
On arrival on the scene a lifeguard using a Malibu rescue board was conducting a search on the lagoon where it was confirmed that an 8 year old male child from Mzamba was missing in the lagoon and the child had reportedly gone missing in the water while swimming.
Police Search and Rescue divers scuba dive searched and NSRI rescue swimmers assisted with free dive search efforts and the NSRI jet-ski was deployed to assist in a surface water search.
During an extensive search operation Police Search and Rescue divers located and recovered the body of the child from the water and sadly the child has been declared deceased by paramedics and the body of the child has been taken into the care of the Forensic Pathology Services.
Police have opened an inquest docket.
Condolences are conveyed to family and Police are assisting the family.
Sheryll Grobler, NSRI Port Elizabeth duty controller, said:
At 12h26, Saturday, 25th August, while our NSRI duty crew were on the water doing routine training exercises aboard the sea rescue craft JLT Rescuer and Spirit of Surfski IV, our NSRI crew noticed sailing dinghy’s taking part in a South African Sailing – Eastern Cape Provincial regatta appearing to be in difficulty when an unexpected wind squall picked up suddenly while the regatta was underway with 29 sailing dinghy’s between 1 and 2 nautical miles off-shore of Kings Beach.
Our NSRI crew diverted the 2 sea rescue craft to investigate and at the same time the Sailing Regatta safety officer, seeing that NSRI were in the vicinity, he raised the alarm, requesting NSRI’s assistance to assist their 5 safety boats, that were deployed at the regatta, and confirming that some of the sailing dinghy’s were in need of assistance.
Strong winds had been forecast for later in the day but a wind squall with 29 knot South Westerly winds had suddenly appeared unexpectedly earlier in the day causing some of the sailing dinghy’s in the regatta to get into difficulty.
The 5 regatta safety boats, from SA Sailing and from Algoa Bay Yacht Club, and the 2 NSRI rescue craft, were able to corral all of the sailing dinghy’s getting them all safely to shore.
Only one 11 year old child had suffered a minor bump to his head and was brought safely ashore aboard a sea rescue craft and his sailing dinghy was recovered and no medical attention was required.
At 15h00 all sailing dingy’s and their sailors were safely ashore and accounted for and no further assistance was required.
NSRI Spring Tide Alert:
NSRI are urging public caution around the coast in light of the Full Moon Spring Tide that peaks on Sunday, 26th August.
The Spring Tide Alert lasts until the end of this coming week.
The full moon Spring Tide brings a higher than normal high tide, a lower than normal low tide and stronger than normal rip currents.
Anglers fishing along the coast, bathers, beach walkers and coastal hikers are urged to be cautious.
NSRI urge parents to ensure that their children have responsible adult supervision in and around water.
TO REPORT A SEA RESCUE EMERGENCY DIAL 112 FROM A CELLPHONE