Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Search for missing girl resumes that was washed off the rocks at Mouille Point on Christmas Day

At approximately 17:48 on Tuesday, 25 December 2012, the City’s Disaster Risk Management Centre was informed of a possible drowning incident at Mouille Point [near the Put-Put Mini Golf Course].

Emergency personnel from the Disaster Risk Management Centre, Fire & Rescue Services, Law Enforcement, Metropolitan Police Department, the South African Police Services, METRO Emergency Medical Services and the National Search Rescue Institute [NSRI] were dispatched to the incident.

Upon arrival it was established that a six (6) year old girl was washed off the rocks out to sea that was witnessed by the mother.

The authorities deployed divers on the seaward side of the shoreline from the Fire & Rescue Services and the NSRI to search for the girl.

At 18:17 additional divers from the City’s Law Enforcement Marine Unit and the METRO Emergency Medical Services also assisted for with extended search operation.

The services of SKYMED 1 the emergency helicopter from S.A. Red Cross Air Mercy Service was also employed to aid the operation with extended air search for the missing child.

At 21:25 the body was not recovered and divers terminated the search mission due to rough sea conditions and poor visibility.

The girl that was reported washed off the rocks is Bukho Ntsmondwa (6 years) that resides in Nyanga.

The girl was on picnic with her mother [Nomela Ntsmondwa] and other family at the time of the incident.

Social workers from the Western Cape Government: Department of Social Development has provided trauma counselling and will further provide assistance to the family members.

At 06:50 this morning [Wednesday, 26 December 2012] the disaster management officials, divers and other agencies resumed with the search mission.

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

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

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