Quentin Power, NSRI Ballito station commander, said:
At 14h15, Sunday, 31 January, NSRI Ballito duty crew were activated following a call for assistance for a drowning in progress in the Glendale area in the Umvoti river.
NSRI Ballito rescue swimmers, with swift water rescue gear and a floating stretcher, the SA Police Services, Police Search and Rescue and IPSS Medical Rescue responded.
On arrival on the scene eye-witnesses reported a 5 year old girl had lost her footing while playing alongside the river bank and had fallen into the strong flowing river and was swept down river.
NSRI rescue swimmers entered the water to begin a search and they were joined by crew from IPSS Medical Rescue.
The child was located approximately 3.5 kilometers downstream sadly deceased.
The body of the child was recovered from the water with the use of a floating stretcher.
The body of the child was taken into the care of Police and KZN Government Health Forensic Pathology Services.
Condolences are conveyed to family.
We are appealing to the public to be cautious in and around coastal and inland waters and in particular strong flowing rivers. Avoid attempts to drive or swim across any river especially during the rainy season or flash floods