UPDATE: Sedgefield:The hired boat was not hired out by Pine Lake Marina but by a private boat rental company that operates from the slipway.Pine Lake Marina Management and staff and Pine Lake Marina security staff assisted in the incident but reportedly only became aware of the incident at approximately the same time that NSRI were alerted.
At 21h45, Friday, 04th January, NSRI Wilderness were alerted to reports of a 45 year old Cape Town man missing in the Swartvlei, the lake at Pine Lake Marina, between Sedgefield and Knysna.
Reportedly, a father and his three children: 16 and 7 year old girls and a 5 year old boy, on holiday in George and visiting friends at Pine Lake Marina, had launched a small boat that they had rented to go fishing at around 16h00.When they hadn’t returned by nightfall, the man’s wife and friends raised the alarm. It appears that civilians launched a search using jet-ski’s.During their search, reportedly at approximately 20h30, they found the 3 children swimming to shore. Only the young boy was wearing a life-jacket, although it has been reported that they had all been issued life-jacket. All 3 children were brought to shore.Nurses, reportedly on vacation at the resort, treated the children for hypothermia and shock.The children reported that earlier in the day, the boat that they were on had capsized. They had lost sight of their dad and they started to swim to shore.Civilians, using jet ski’s, reportedly continued to search for their father who was missing.NSRI and the emergency services were alerted at 21h45.NSRI Station 23 Wilderness duty crew with 2 NSRI rescue craft, a Police Dive Unit with a Police boat, WC Government Health EMS and the EMS rescue squad, Knysna/Sedgefield Fire and Rescue Services and Sedgefield COP (Community Orientated Police) responded.An extensive water and shoreline search commenced and the 2 sea rescue craft and the Police boat launched onto Swartvlei . The civilians on jet ski’s asssited NSRI and the emergency services in a coordinated sweeping line search and grid search.The family, the wife and the 3 children, were transported to hospital by ER24 ambulance in the care of paramedics suffering from shock.During an extensive search in the early hours of Saturday morning the body of the man was located and recovered and the body has been taken into the care of theForensic Pathology Services.Police have opened an inquest docket.The small boat and the remaining life-jackets have not been located.NSRI and the emergency services have conveyed condolences to family and friends.