Massive search for child who disappeared underwater at Strand

The scene of a suspected drowning. Illustration only. Photo: Netcare 911

A massive search was activated at Strand beach when a 12-year-old child playing in the ocean got into difficulty and went underwater, the National Sea Rescue Institute said on Sunday.

“The child, reported to be among a group of local friends who were swimming together, was reported by eyewitnesses to have disappeared underwater after appearing to be in difficulty in the surf while swimming,” said Alan Meiklejohn, NSRI Strand station commander.

The child went underwater on Saturday afternoon and the massive response included rescue craft, swimmers, emergency management services, law enforcement divers, the local neighbourhood watch and a helicopter. No sign of the child was found.

A police dive unit was continuing the search on Sunday, supported by NSRI Strand, Strand Surf Lifesaving, the City of Cape Town Law Enforcement marine unit and Cape Town’s Fire and Rescue Services dive unit.

“Trauma counsellors assisted the family of the missing child and our thoughts are with the family in this difficult time,” said Meiklejohn.

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