The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) on Friday appealed to residents for leads after a three-and-half-year-old boy, believed to be from Port Elizabeth, went missing in St Francis Bay on Thursday evening.
According to NSRI spokesperson, Craig Lambinon, at 18h00, on Thursday, the NSRI Jeffreys Bay and NSRI St Francis Bay, assisted by Smhart Security, the SA Police Services and a large community response, initiated a search for the boy, who reportedly went missing in the vicinity of the Krom River, on the Paradise Beach, side of the Krom River, from an area known as Kromme River Shareblock.
“The child, believed to be from Port Elizabeth, and staying with family at Kromme River Shareblock, had last been seen at approximately 16h30 and family had started to search, but after no sign of the child could be found Smhart Security, NSRI and Police, assisted by a large community response joined the search,” said Lambinon.
“Despite an extensive shoreline and neighbourhood search no sign of the child has been found and the search has continued through the night.
“The sea rescue craft, Spirit of St Francis II, a Police helicopter and a Police K-9 search and rescue team have joined in the search this morning and NSRI rescue swimmers have been deployed into the sea to conduct a free dive sweeping line search in the water and search crews continue to search the neighbourhood and on the land side.”
He said that while there are suspicions that the child may have wanted to go swimming at the time of the child’s disappearance, it remains unknown if the child is missing on the land or in the water and all possibilities are being considered in the ongoing search operation.
“Anyone with information that can assist in this case should call Police at 042 2001817 or NSRI at 0823803800.”
“Family are being supported and Police have opened an investigation,” Lambinon said.
“Local community members are commended for their ongoing assistance.”
Image: Missing – Chulu – age: 3 years and 6 months. The child was last seen at 16h30, Thursday, 6th April, wearing a Navy Blue Shorts, a Blue and White Striped T-Shirt and a Blue Sleeveless Bomber Jacket and Barefoot – in the vicinity of Kromme River Shareblock on the Paradise Beach side of the Krom River, St Francis Bay.