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Search for baptism drowning victim continues in poor sea conditions

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A police dive unit will not continue the search operation on Monday morning for a man who was swept out to sea at Monwabisi Beach, on the False Bay coast. This after three people were swept out to sea during a baptism ceremony at 07h45 on Sunday. Law Enforcement spokesperson, Wayne Dyason said the South African Police Service (SAPS) has indicated that the unit will not resume the search as the current and sea conditions have left little room to narrow the search area. Dyason said a SAPS helicopter will do an aerial recon only and is already airborne.

Meanwhile, National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) spokesperson Craig Lambinon said the bodies of two other men have since been retrieved.

“On Sunday, one body was already out of the water when emergency services and NSRI Strandfontein arrived on the scene. He was declared deceased. During an ongoing search operation, a police dive unit located and recovered a second body from the water.”

Labinon said current information provided to the NSRI indicates that the three men were in the surf conducting a baptism ceremony at the time of the incident.

He confirmed that no life guards were on duty when the men drowned at the beach that is renowned for its strong rip currents.

“It’s got something to do with that wall that was erected there long ago. There are signs at the beach saying ‘dangerous swimming’ and we always urge people to only go into the surf when life guards are on duty and to swim within the safety demarcated swimming zones.

He said that while emergency services were alerted at 07h45, the NSRI was only alerted after 08h00.

“We urge people if they are going to be in the surf or around the surf to have the emergency services numbers handy so that they can immediately alert all immediately alert sea rescue.”

“Condolences have been conveyed to family and a police have opened an inquest docket into this is incident,” Lambinon continued.

Lambinon encouraged holiday makers to familiarize themselves with the emergencies numbers in provinces that they are traveling to.

Western Cape Sea Rescue: (021) 449-3500

National emergency number: 112

VOC 91.3fm



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