Lifeguard drowns

Thokozani Mthethwa, 23, drowned while in service as aseasonal lifeguard.

The body of Muizenberg lifeguard Thokozani Mthethwa, 23, who disappeared in the surf during a rescue mission on Saturday, has been found.

After two days of futile searching for the body of the seasonal lifeguard, the search was handed over to the SAPS dive unit.

The dive unit found his body late on Sunday afternoon between Strandfontein and Mnandi beaches.

Muizenberg Beach was shut to bathers on Sunday afternoon and again on Sunday.

Mr Mthethwa fell off a rescue sled being towed by a jet ski, while heading out to help a kite surfer in distress off St James, at about 3pm, said Zahid Badroodien, mayoral committee member for community services and health.

A senior lifeguard had been operating the craft, with Mr Mthethwa on the rescue sled.

It is suspected that Mr Mthethwa was knocked off the sled about 50 to 100 metres offshore, and he then disappeared in the water.

The search, which drew in various emergency services and a rescue helicopter, continued with sweeping patrols and water patrols, until the light began to fade on the first day, and was resumed the next day.

Ward councillor Aimee Kuhl said her prayers went to Mr Mthethwa’s family and friends and that the incident reminded her of how those in the line of service so often risked everything.

She urged people to drink responsibly over the festive season and follow Covid precautions.