Thursday, 27 December 2012

City records first two drowning incidents due to irresponsible behaviour

MOUILLE POINT: At 10:00 this morning [Wednesday, 26 December 2012] the body of Bukho Ntsondwa (6 years) from Nyanga that washed off the rocks was recovered by rescue divers. Yesterday the deceased was on a picnic with her mother and family. The family gathered on the rocks at Mouille Point that is not a designated bathing area. At the time the deceased was playing on her sister’s back when a wave washed them off the rocks and the body of the deceased was swept off-shore. Divers from the City’s Law Enforcement Marine Unit, the Fire & Rescue Services, South African Police Services and the NSRI conducted a joint search and rescue mission in an attempt to find the body. Due to rough sea conditions and poor visibility the search was called-off last night. The search for the missing body resumed at first light this morning [Wednesday, 26 December 2012]. After two successful attempts the body of the girl was discovered entangled under bamboos some 10 metres away from where the incident took place. To body remains were removed by the Western Cape Government: Department of Health [Forensic Pathology Services] to the Salt River State Mortuary. The family was provided with trauma counselling and prepared to positively identify the body.

HOUT BAY: At 12:15 on Wednesday, 26 December 2012, a 22 year old male known as Siphamamndla Jamce, found himself in distress whilst swimming approximately 200 metres up river mouth of the Disa River at Hout Bay Beach. The area is prohibited for bathing and is not a designated swimming area. He was recovered by volunteers of the Disaster Risk Management Centre, law enforcement officers and on-duty lifeguards. At the time of recovery of the patient from the water he was unconscious and was revived by paramedics. The patient was airlifted with an air ambulance of ER24 to Grootte Schuur Hospital for further medical treatment. The attempts by the medical staff on-duty at the hospital to completely resuscitate the patient were unsuccessful. At 16:45 the doctor on-duty at the emergency trauma unit declared the patient from the Imizamo Yethu Informal Settlement in Hout Bay as deceased. An autopsy will be performed to determine the exact cause of death.

MELKBOSSTRAND: At approximately 13:00 an eight (8 year old) male [Luyanda Skafungana] residing in Atlantis found himself in distress at Melkbosstrand. The lifeguards on-duty recovered the boy from the water whereafter he was stabilised. The boy was on picnic with his aunt on the beach. He was admitted to the general ward of the Wesfleur Hospital in Atlantis for observation for secondary drowning symptoms and is in a stable condition.

TABLE VIEW: At 13:59 the on-duty lifeguards observed a male minor in distress opposite the KFC on the corner of Otto Du Plessis and Beach Road, Blaauwberg. Upon arrival of the volunteers of Disaster Risk Management Centre; emergency personnel from the Fire & Rescue Services and from South African Paramedic Services the 15 year old male [Waylin De Vos] was already recovered from the water by bystanders. The patient was transported by ambulance to the Somerset Hospital. It is alleged that the patient was under the influence of alcohol and narcotics.

CLIFTON: At 14:00 today [Wednesday, 26 December 2012] an adult male [Anton Magnus, 34 years) was body surfing on Clifton 1st Beach. He collided with another swimmer and sustained back injuries. The Clifton Surf Livesaving Club responded to the person in distress. The patient residing in Wynberg was transported by the air ambulance of ER24 to Milnerton Medi-Clinic for further medical treatment. The medical staff at the hospital confirmed that the condition of the patient is stable.

MUIZENBERG: At 14:25 a year old male [Nick Sumba] found himself in distress at Muizenberg Beach. At the time of the incident the boy was playing with his sister in the river mouth running into the sea and his body was submerged by water. He was swiftly rescued by the on-duty lifeguards. The patient was transported to False Bay Day Hospital for further medical treatment and near drowning symptoms observation. The patient was left in the care of his family at the hospital that hails from Capricorn Park near Muizenberg.

Residents and visitors are requested to adhere to the following safety tips on beaches:

· Swim only where there a lifeguards and where signs indicate that it is safe to do so

· Make sure that lifeguards can see you when you are in the water

· Do not swim where lifeguards are not present

· Always swim between the red and yellow flags. These indicate safe, supervised swimming areas. Areas outside these flags might conceal dangerous currents and tides. Only swim in areas where other people are present

· If you find yourself in trouble, raise your arm to attract the lifeguard’s attention. Try not to panic as this will tire you

· If you see someone else in trouble in the sea, alert the lifeguards or find help. Do not put your own life in danger as well

· Don’t drink alcohol before swimming or driving motor boats. The use of alcohol dulls the senses, slows the reactions and can lead to irresponsible behaviour

· Don’t dive from tidal pool walls – this can result in spinal injuries

· Do not take small or unstable boats out far from the shore in choppy water or bad weather

· Adults must at all times supervise minors at swimming pools and at beach areas.


Issued by: Disaster Risk Management Centre, City of Cape Town

Supplied by: Wilfred Solomons-Johannes, Head: Systems Integration, Special Projects and Disaster Operations, Disaster Risk Management Centre, City of Cape Town

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