Billy Sibuyi
2 minute read
5 Apr 2019
10:22 am

Teen drowns in Letaba River while swimming with friends

Billy Sibuyi

Police arrived promptly at the scene and began a two-day search for the boy's body, which was found trapped in deep mud.

A teenager has died after he was pulled from the Letaba River at Selwane Village on Wednesday afternoon, reports Letaba Herald.

The Lulekani Police have since opened a case of inquest, a judicial inquiry in common law jurisdictions, to determine the cause of the teenager’s death.

It is understood that the 18-year-old was swimming with his friends at the Letaba River when he drowned.

ALSO READ: Three teens rescued in ‘mass’ near-drowning in Amanzimtoti

Information received from the police alleges that the deceased’s friends were surprised when they noticed that he was not resurfacing from the water.

“They tried to search in an attempt to rescue him, but with no success and that is when they immediately informed their parents who contacted the police,” stated Sergeant Reoh Mabunda.

Sergeant Mabunda mentioned that the police reacted quickly, immediately launching an intensified search for the teenager, who was still under water, but the first rescue attempt was unsuccessful.

Photo: SAPS

“We had to suspend the search, as it was late at night,” said Mabunda.

A police diver gears up before going into the dam. Photo SAPS

“The Search and Rescue Team Unit was summoned, and a serious search resumed in the earliest hours of the following morning, until the body was found trapped in the deep mud of the river,” explained Mabunda. Emergency services were summoned, and the deceased was certified dead at the scene.

“His body was taken to Maphutha hospital mortuary by the Forensic Pathologist. A post-mortem will be conducted to determine the cause of his death, while an investigation is still underway.”

The Lulekani Police station commander, Lieutenant Colonel Mackenzie Prince Mkansi, condemned this kind of incident, stating that members of communities shouldn’t continue swimming in dangerous streams.

He further urged parents and all community members to give a clear caution to their children to avoid putting their lives in danger by swimming in streams.

“As police, we will be visiting all our communities to conduct awareness briefings in order to stop this kind of incidents,” he concluded.

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