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Two drown at Cape Town beaches on New Year’s Day

A man believed to be in his fifties drowned at the tidal pool in Sea Point. File Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)

A man believed to be in his fifties drowned at the tidal pool in Sea Point. File Picture: Tracey Adams/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jan 1, 2022

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CAPE TOWN - Tragedy struck two families on New Year’s Day as two people, one of them a 10-year-old girl, drowned at beaches in Cape Town.

The first incident took place at Strand Beach at 7.25am. The National Sea Rescue Institute Gordons Bay duty crew were called in following the activation of the City of Cape Town water rescue network after law enforcement officers reported a 10-year-old girl from Stellenbosch missing and suspected to be in the surf zone.

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NSRI Gordons Bay station commander Alan Meiklejohn said the sea rescue craft Zelda was launched.

“NSRI rescue swimmers, disaster risk management officers, the SAPS, City of Cape Town Strand surf lifesaving lifeguards, Western Cape government health emergency medical services, Cape Town fire and rescue services, GB Med ambulance services, ER24 ambulance services and Life Healthcare response paramedics all joined law enforcement marine officers on the scene, where a search had already commenced.

“On arrival at the scene, the sea rescue craft searched in the direction of sea currents after a resident in a block of flats opposite Strand Beach reported seeing the girl in the water a distance away from where she had reportedly originally been swimming.

“The sea rescue craft was nearing that area at the time, and NSRI crew spotted the girl’s lifeless body in the water,” Meiklejohn said.

The girl’s body was recovered and brought to paramedics on shore, where she was declared deceased.

Police have opened an inquest docket.

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In a separate incident in Sea Point at 9.40am, the NSRI Table Bay duty crew and City of Cape Town water rescue network were activated following eyewitness reports of a local man appearing to be in difficulty in a natural tidal pool alongside the Sea Point promenade.

According to NSRI Table Bay station commander Marc de Vos, a German couple staying in a block of flats opposite the promenade noticed the man in the water and raised the alarm.

“NSRI rescue swimmers, law enforcement officers, the SAPS, City of Cape Town lifeguards, Cape Town fire and rescue services, and Western Cape government health emergency medical services responded.

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“On arrival at the scene, an NSRI rescue swimmer entered the water, where the German man was trying to recover the lifeless body of a local man, believed to be in his fifties, from the water.

“The NSRI rescue swimmer brought the man on to the rocks where, sadly, paramedics declared him to be deceased,” De Vos said.

Police have opened an inquest docket.

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The NSRI commended the German couple for their efforts to save the man.

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