12-year-old King Williams Town learner drowns on East London school trip

NOVEMBER 1, 2016

The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) in East London on Monday recovered the body of a 12-year-old learner, who drowned at Glen Eden, North of East London, during a school outing.

According to Geoff McGregor, NSRI East London station commander, their crew was activated after receiving a report from Transnet of a drowing in progress.

"The Sea Rescue craft Spirit of Rotary II was launched and an NSRI rescue vehicle, EC Government Health EMS, an EMS rescue helicopter and the SA Police Services responded.

"On arrival on the scene a sea, shore and air search commenced for a 12-year-old child reported to have been swept out to sea by rip currents while swimming with a group of fellow learners. They are on a school excursion from a King Williams Town junior school," said McGregor.

"The body of the child was located in the surf by rescuers aboard the EMS rescue helicopter and the sea rescue craft was directed to the location where the body was recovered onto the sea rescue craft and the body was brought onto the beach where EMS paramedics declared the child deceased."

He said that it appears that a group of learners, believed to be at least 20 learners, from a junior school in King Williams Town, were visiting the beach accompanied by school staff.

"At Spring low tide it appears that some children were swimming together when the 12-year-old child was swept out to sea by rip currents."

The body of the child has been handed into the care of the Forensic Pathology Services and Police have opened an inquest docket.