One man was still missing and two others had been rescued after they were caught in strong currents while trying to cross the Sundays River near Port Elizabeth, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) said on Sunday.
NSRI Station 6 Port Elizabeth duty crew and the Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB) Water Rescue Network were activated at about 6.15pm on Sunday evening following reports of three men reportedly caught in currents at the Sundays River Mouth, NSRI Port Elizabeth station commander Ian Gray said.
Blue Water Bay Surf Lifesaving lifeguards, who had a rescue rubber-duck on Sundays River at the time and were in the vicinity, immediately responded and NSRI Port Elizabeth towed the sea rescue craft Spirit of Surf-Ski 4 and launched on the river. Coastal Water Rescue, the South African Police Service (SAPS) and a police dive unit, the NMB beach manager’s office, and Eastern Cape government health emergency medical services (EMS) were also activated, he said.
On arrival on the scene, two men were found safe out the water and they sustained only minor injuries. However, one man, a local 35-year-old, was still missing. Despite an extensive search in the river, along the banks of the river, and out to sea, and which also included NSRI Port Elizabeth launching an additional sea rescue craft JLK Rescuer and searching the coastline and out to sea, no sign of the missing man had been found.
A police dive unit would continue an ongoing search operation. It appeared that a group of up to 20 men had been swimming across the river when three of them were reportedly caught in strong currents, Gray said.
– African News Agency (ANA)