Cape Town: Teenagers Drown while Caught in Rip Currents

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Two teenagers drowned at two different beaches in Cape Town on Friday, October 16 after they were caught in rip currents.

According to the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI), one of the teen is yet to be found while the other one has been confirmed dead.

In a statement issued by Craig Lambinon, the spokesman of NSRI on Saturday, he explained, “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.

“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.

The teenager was already missing in the surf by the time they arrived at the scene. 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.

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

A police dive unit, assisted by Cape Town law enforcement and NSRI Strandfontein crew members, will not relent in their search efforts.

Meanwhile, NSRI crew were alerted at 5.51pm on Friday about a separate incident to come and rescue another drowning teenager 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.”

“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 stated.