Body of drowned 12-year-old girl recovered in Jeffrey's Bay

BY TAI CHISHAKWE - DECEMBER 8, 2014

The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) on Monday afternoon announced that after a search operation at Seekoei River Lagoon, Jeffreys Bay, they had located and recovered the body of a 12-year-old Humansdorp girl, who drowned at the Seekoei lagoon on Sunday afternoon.

“Police divers had joined NSRI Jeffrey’s Bay, who had initiated an ongoing search since 05h00 this morning, and the body of the girl was discovered by Police divers scuba dive searching in the vicinity where the child had disappeared by midday,” NSRI said in a satement.

“The body of the child has been handed into the care of the Forensic Pathology Services.

“Family of the deceased child are being counselled by Police trauma counsellors and sincere condolences are expressed to the family.”

NSRI respond to call

Rieghard Janse van Rensburg, NSRI Jeffreys Bay station commander, said: “NSRI Jeffreys Bay rescue swimmers responded directly to the scene and our sea rescue vehicle, the SA Police Services, local lifeguards, Traffic Services, Private Care ambulance services and EC Government Health EMS responded.

“On arrival on-scene it was discovered that a 12 year old girl had gone missing in the lagoon when she and another 12 year old girl had reportedly run into the lagoon together while playing,” he said. 

“The lagoon has shallow and deep sections and it appears that they were wading in shallow water which suddenly got deeper and neither girl can swim and suddenly finding themselves in a deep section one girl had managed to get back to the shallower water but one girl disappeared under water.”

Van Rensburg said that the girls were part of a church group of children, parents and church elders, from Humansdorp, that had bussed to the Seekoei Nature Reserve camp site at the lagoon for the day.

“The surviving girl was transported to hospital as a precautionary measure by EMS ambulance, for observation for secondary drowning although in a stable condition and she was released from hospital later,” he said.

“NSRI rescue swimmers formed a sweeping line search in the lagoon to begin a search, wading in the lagoon shallows and free diving in the deeper sections, joined by concerned members of the public eager to assist and the emergency services that responded assisted conducting searches along the banks of the lagoon.

“A sea rescue Jeffreys Bay volunteer is also a Police pilot and he volunteered his private fixed wing aeroplane to assist in the search, accompanied by NSRI spotters, an air search was conducted.

“Later, after still no sign of the child could be found, Police divers joined in the search but despite the extensive air, water and shoreline search by 20h40, with no sign of the child being found, the search was suspended and NSRI Jeffreys Bay resumed a search at 05h00 this morning, Monday, 08th December, and Police divers will scuba dive search later this morning.

“Police trauma counsellors are assisting the family and Police have opened an investigation.”

NSRI Waterwise Academy

NSRI’s WaterWise Academy teaches children from disadvantaged communities about basic water safety, peer rescue, who to call in an emergency and how to do Hands On CPR. Our 12 Instructors, who are based around the country, have reached more than 600 000 children to date. For WaterWise Academy safety tips see http://goo.gl/dIciyy.

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