Air, sea, land search for ‘heroic’ KZN teen

Air, sea, land search for ‘heroic’ KZN teen

Police diver Warrant Officer Marc Wiid (left) and Warrant Officer Gabriel Nel from Port Shepstone K9 Unit search for the missing teen along shoreline. Photo: SAPS.

The teen was last seen raising his hand and frantically shouting for help before he disappeared beneath the waves.

Police divers, a helicopter and a private plane are still searching for the body of Siyanda Buthelezi, 17, who is believed to have drowned while trying to rescue two school mates at Margate beach in KwaZulu-Natal at the weekend.

Buthelezi had already rescued an alleged “drunk friend” and a cousin, but got into difficulty himself when he went back into the surf to save the two girls, South Coast Herald reported.

Hailed as a hero, he was last seen raising his hand and frantically shouting for help before he disappeared beneath the waves.

Meanwhile, his grieving family is still waiting in Margate, scanning the sea from the beach daily and hoping his body can be recovered so that they can find closure.

Buthelezi’s brother, Lucky, said all the family wanted was for his body to be found so they could lay him to rest.

He added that neither the teachers nor the school principal were able to explain why there was apparently no supervision on the day of the tragedy.

“We are not blaming the teachers, but where were they when the incident occurred? Why were these pupils unsupervised? Why was there nothing mentioned on the consent form about visiting the beach?” he asked.

“We only heard from the survivors and other pupils that Siyanda had drowned helping those who had been struggling in the water.”

Lucky said his family was told that Siyanda saw his cousin and a friend, who “appeared to be drunk”, fighting for their lives and selflessly jumped into the water to save them.

When he saw two other girls had also become caught in the current, he went back into the water in a brave, but ultimately fatal, effort to rescue the girls.

His family described Siyanda as “a loving boy who was always laughing”.

Thulasizwe Mvubu, from the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education, said the department was still investigating and as such could not comment further at this stage.

– Caxton News Service

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