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Teens drown in rip currents, missing man’s body recovered

CAPE TOWN, South Africa – A teenager drowned and another is missing after they apparently got caught in rip currents while swimming at two different beaches in Cape Town on Friday.

The body of a man who drowned at another beach last weekend has been recovered, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) said.

City of Cape Town law enforcement officers at Monwabisi, near Khayelitsha, on False Bay were alerted at about 5.30pm on Friday afternoon by a local family at the beach that their 14-year-old son was in difficulty in the surf at Monwabisi main beach while swimming in the sea, NSRI spokesman Craig Lambinon said in a statement on Saturday.

The Cape Town law enforcement marine unit, the city’s fire and rescue service, the SAPS, NSRI Strandfontein rescue swimmers and Western Cape emergency medical services (EMS) responded to the scene while an NSRI Strandfontein sea rescue craft was also launched, he said.

On arrival on the scene, the teenager was missing in the surf. Despite an extensive sea and shoreline search that included sweeping line free-dive search efforts by five NSRI rescue swimmers deployed in the surf, no sign was found of the teenager.

A police dive unit, assisted by Cape Town law enforcement and NSRI Strandfontein crew members, will continue their search efforts.

“Our thoughts are with the family of the missing teenager in this difficult time,” Lambinon said.

In a separate incident, NSRI crew were alerted at 5.51pm on Friday to a drowning in progress at Lagoon Beach in Milnerton in Table Bay.

“Almost immediately, it was reported that bystanders had recovered a 13-year-old male from the surf and bystander CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) efforts were in progress,” he said.

Cape Town law enforcement, Milnerton Surf Lifesaving lifeguards, Community Medics, Life Healthcare response paramedics and Western Cape EMS responded.

“Sadly, despite extensive advanced life-support CPR efforts, the teenager was declared deceased.”

Police have opened an inquest docket and condolences were conveyed to the boy’s family.

“The two drowning incidents on Friday in Cape Town happened during an outgoing tide and it appears that in both cases the teenagers were caught in strong rip currents. High tide had peaked after 3pm and the high tide was receding.

“The new moon spring tide peaks on Saturday, 17 October and the spring tide’s higher than normal high tide and lower than normal low tide 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.

’’NSRI are 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,” Lambinon said.

Earlier on Friday morning, at 11am, Cape Town law enforcement marine officers and SAPS divers recovered a body from the surf at Mnandi Beach, near Mitchells Plain on False Bay.

“The body is confirmed to be that of a man who went missing while swimming at Mnandi last Sunday. Police have opened an inquest docket.

“Condolences have been conveyed to the family,” Lambinon said.

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