There have been three drownings on far south beaches since the beginning of the new year with one person still missing.
On Saturday January 6, a 16-year-old boy from Makhaza in Khayelitsha drowned at Muizenberg Beach.
The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) was alerted to the incident, at the Zandvlei Estuary mouth, at 9.38am, according to spokesman Craig Lambinon.
“It appears that a British man, now living in Cape Town, Archie Moberly, who was surfing at Muizenberg at the time, responded to calls for help from the victim’s friends.
“Mr Moberly paddled towards them and rescued a child, believed to be 12 or 13, who pointed to him where his teenage friend was in distress,” said Mr Lambinon.
However, Mr Moberly couldn’t reach the teenager in time.
“A search was launched, and the missing boy was later found submerged under water, in the surf zone, from the EMS/AMS Skymed rescue helicopter. Despite CPR efforts, the 16-year-old was declared dead on the scene,” Mr Lambinon said.
New Year’s Day brought further tragedy when the NSRI responded, at 1.30pm, to eyewitness reports of a drowning in progress at Sonwabe Beach.
According to the NSRI, two brothers, aged 12 and 18, from Woodstock, and an 8-year-old boy and his 28-year-old father, from Belhar, had been caught in rip currents and were being swept out to sea.
“Rescue efforts led to the recovery of an 18-year-old male on the beach, but resuscitation attempts proved unsuccessful, and he was declared dead on the scene,” Mr Lambinon said.
The 8-year-old and the 12-year-old were rescued by bystanders, but the younger boy’s father went missing.
“Police divers are continuing an ongoing search for the missing man,” Mr Lambinon said.
Meanwhile, about 500 metres away, rescue services responding to the incident at Sonwabe Beach were flagged down by members of the public who wanted help for a 24-year-old Manenberg man who had been rescued from the water by bystanders. The man had no pulse and was not breathing.
NSRI medics and City lifeguards attempted CPR, but the man was declared dead at the scene.
Police spokesman Captain Stephen Knapp said inquest dockets had been opened in connection with the incidents.
Mayoral committee member for community services and health Patricia van der Ross said it was unfortunate the incidents had happened at beaches not designated for swimming or outside lifeguard duty hours.
“We still have a few months of beach weather ahead, so I want to reiterate my appeal to the public to please adhere to the rules for their own safety. Swim only in areas where lifeguards are present and heed their instructions when entering the water.“