The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) has reported a number of drowning along the Western Cape coast in recent days.
On Saturday the bodies of three men were recovered at Kleinmond, near Hermanus, after their rigid hull inflatable boat capsized overnight.
According to Schalk Boonzaaier, the NSRI Kleinmond station commander, multiple rescue craft were activated just after 7am yesterday when an empty boat washed ashore along the shoreline approximately 4km from the town.
Additional airborne rescue swimmers and crew from Gordon’s Bay were also placed on alert.
Three people confirmed on boat
Initially the NRSI believed it was searching for four missing men, but later a total of three people, all believed to be from Hawston, a village near Hermanus, were confirmed to have been on the boat.
The body of one of the missing men was located on the beach near to where the boat was found, while the other two bodies were recovered during the subsequent search. All were declared dead by paramedics.
Meanwhile, in two separate incidents at Monwabisi and Milnerton late on Friday afternoon, two teenagers drowned during an outgoing tide, with the NSRI reporting that it appears both were caught in strong rip currents.
Family alerted local authorities
At Monwabisi, authorities were alerted by a local family at the beach that their 14-year-old son was in difficulty in the surf.
The NSRI and various law enforcement organisations were mobilised, but have failed to locate the missing teenager.
At around the same time, the NSRI was alerted to a drowning in progress at Lagoon Beach, Milnerton.
Almost immediately it was reported that bystanders had recovered a 13-year-old male from the surf and were performing CPR. Lifesavers and paramedics responded, but the teenager was declared dead.
NSRI has appealed for caution
The NSRI has now warned that spring tides will last into the coming week.
“Rip currents are the greatest danger and occur constantly throughout the month and bathers should exercise caution while swimming at beaches.
“The NSRI is appealing to the public to be cautious while swimming; don’t go too deep into the surf line and children should have responsible adult supervision when they are in the water,” the organisation said in a statement.