AT LEAST 30 DROWNINGS REPORTED IN SOUTH AFRICA SINCE STRAT OF HOLIDAYS

At least 30 people have drowned in South Africa since the start of the year-end holidays, according to the authorities.

In the latest incident, Limpopo police have retrieved the bodies of three people from the Levubu River. Limpopo provincial police spokesperson Motjafela Mojapelo said the two men and a woman drowned when their vehicle was swept away outside Thohoyandou.

In Levubu, three people were travelling in a bakkie (pick-up truck used for public transport) and the bakkie fell into the river. The three occupants all drowned and our search rescue team was activated. All bodies were recovered this morning, said Majapelo Sunday.

In Eastern Cape province, a 16-year old boy drowned at Paradise Beach Lagoon in Jeffrey's Bay. The teenager from Port Elizabeth was playing with a beach ball with friends and slipped under water when trying to retrieve the ball.

National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) spokesperson Craig Lambinon said: It appears they were playing with a beach ball in the water and he disappeared after trying to retrieve the beach ball from the water.

"On arrival on scene there was no sign of the teenager, life guards and NSRI rescue swimmers formed a sweeping line free-dive search. During the search the body of the teenager was located and recovered and declared deceased by paramedics. Police have opened an inquest docket and the body was handed to the forensic pathology services.

There are more than 3,000 kilometres of coastline in South Africa and the December holidays mean beaches are the go to destination but offten, trips to the beach end in tragedy.

Already a number of people have drowned this (Southern Hemisphere) summer season. In Port Elizabeth, a community initiative called Learn To Swim is teaching children from previously disadvantaged backgrounds how to swim and learn more about the beach.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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