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At 15h30, Wednesday, 24 August, NSRI Knysna duty crew were activated following reports of a drowning in progress in front of East Head Cafe, next to the NSRI Knysna rescue station, Knysna Lagoon.

Grant van Staden, NSRI Knysna deputy station commander, said:

NSRI rescue swimmers, SA Police Services, Community Police Forum members, Knysna Law Enforcement officers and SA National Park rangers responded.

On arrival on the scene it was confirmed that 5 local men, Somalians, were swimming when one of the men, believed to be aged in his mid twenties, appeared to get into difficulty in the water. His friends threw an NSRI pink rescue buoy towards the man, he was unable to reach the buoy.

One of the friends launched into the water to try to help but he got into difficulty himself and was forced to return to rocks and he was able to self rescue himself.

They reported that their friend had disappeared under water.

In an outgoing tide NSRI rescue swimmers conducted sweeping line free dive search efforts. SA National Park rangers conducted search efforts from their SANParks rigid inflatable craft. Personnel on the scene conducted shoreline search efforts.

Despite an extensive search there remains no sign of the missing man.

A Police Dive Unit are continuing in an ongoing search operation.

Thoughts are with the family and friends of the missing man in this difficult time.

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