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At 14h42, Sunday, 18 June, NSRI Hartbeespoort Dam, SRU (Strategic Rescue Unit) and the SA Police Services responded to the Crocodile River, between the Lion Park and Hartbeespoort Dam, following reports of an accident involving canoes on the river with multiple casualties.

NSRI Hartbeespoort Dam rescue swimmers, NSRI Hartbeespoort Dam medics, SRU rescue medics, Police and a paramedic from the Lion Park responded.

While responding to the scene it was determined that during a river canoe expedition involving a total of 26 persons - 20 Singapore tourists and 6 local river guides.

It was reported that 8 tourists had capsized on 4 canoes. The 6 river guides were assisting and reported that CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) efforts had been commenced on 1 male tourist and 1 female tourist.

6 tourists (males and females) and 2 (of the 6) river guides, (both males) needed help in the water.

On arrival on the scene, paramedics conducted CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation) efforts on an adult male and an adult female.

6 tourists (males and females) and 2 river guides, both males, were rescued from the water with the cooperation of the river guides, the tourists themselves and the emergency services – the 2 river guides were unconscious and medical treatment was provided by paramedics to the 2 river guides and to 6 of the tourists.

Despite extensive CPR efforts to the 2 patients, both the man and the woman were sadly declared deceased by paramedics.

The 2 river guides were stabilised by paramedics and transported to hospital where they are recovering.

The remaining 6 tourists rescued from the water were treated for injuries on the scene before being released.

The bodies of the deceased have been taken into the care of Government Health Forensic Pathology Services.

12 tourists, males and females, were not injured.

All casualties were accounted for. NSRI commend the Lion Park and Safaris staff for their assistance.

The tour operator is assisting the tourists and families of those affected in cooperation with the authorities.

Police have opened an Inquest docket.

Condolences are conveyed to the families and friends of the deceased.

Our thoughts are with all involved in this difficult time.

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