An Athlone family has been left devastated after 38-year-old Zaheer Brey lost his life while trying to save his 10-year-old from drowning yesterday. Zaheer and his son Mustafa had been fishing from the rocks at Crystal Pools in Gordon’s Bay at about 15:30, when the child was swept into the sea. He jumped in to help his son, but both found difficulty at sea.
“The sea rescue craft Jack and Irene was launched and a sea rescue vehicle, Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services rescue divers and WC Government Health EMS responded to join Provincial Traffic Services who were already on the scene after being flagged down by bystanders reporting a father and son in the surf and in difficulty,” said the NSRI Gordons Bay.
“On the NSRI sea rescue craft arriving on the scene the child was rescued from the surf and during a search, 7 minutes later the dad was spotted and he was rescued onto the sea rescue craft where NSRI medics initiated CPR efforts on the dad while the sea rescue craft raced to the NSRI base in Gordons Bay where they were met by paramedics.”
The paramedics immediately initiated CPR on Zaheer but efforts failed and he was declared dead.
Mustafa was transported to hospital by EMS ambulance in a stable condition for treatment for shock and for observation for secondary drowning symptoms.
Forensic Pathology Services have conducted a post-mortem and police have opened an inquest docket. Trauma counsellors are assisting the family.
Zaheer’s cousin Nadeem Ahmed said his son is in a stable condition and by 11am on Wednesday was discharged from hospital.
“Alhamdulillah, he just had some water intake and had some scans done.”
Zaheer had a major in economics from UCT and was an entrepreneur. He was the owner of the Lace Up chain of shoe stores in Cape Town.
“He really put everyone else before himself. We were fortunate enough to have the same shaykh and spiritual leader. He was the epitome of someone that was so selfless. Just from the amount of people visiting his home since last night, one can see the kind of impact he had on other’s lives,” said Ahmed.
He was also a naat reciter with a rich, melodious voice. He was appointed ameer of Al Munnawar Thikr jamaah in Cape Town. The thikr jamaah launched a CD a few years back that has been aired on VOC.
“He had a love for thikr and Quran. He always made sure we shared the responsibility required to carry the jamaah.”
Zaheer’s body was discharged from the forensic pathology services on Wednesday at midday and a time for his janazah is unknown at this stage.
He leaves behind his wife, Fatima, and two children, Mustafa and five-year-old Rabia.