Condolences have been extended by the The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) to the family of a teenager who drowned last night. A call was relayed by the SA Police Services to the Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB) Water Rescue Group, reporting a drowning in progress at Wells Estate Beach, Port Elizabeth on Wednesday, January 8.
The call was made at 6.36pm. The NMB Beach Office municipal lifeguards, Coastal Water Rescue, the SA Police Services, a Police Dive Unit and Eastern Cape Government Health EMS responded, while the NSRI was requested to be on standby.
Upon arrival on the scene, bystander CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) efforts were found being conducted on an 18-year-old male who had washed onto the shore as well as a male teenager, aged 17, who had also washed onto the shore but was uninjured.
One male, aged 20, and another male, aged 28, went missing in the surf.
NMB Beach Office lifeguards launched a RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat) to search for the two missing males. Paramedics had continued with CPR efforts on the teenager but despite extensive efforts, he was declared deceased.
NSRI Port Elizabeth duty were activated to respond to assist in a search for the two missing men, and dispatched a sea rescue vehicle and the sea rescue craft JLT Rescuer was launched.
When NSRI arrived on the scene, they joined in on the search and assisted in an extensive sea and shoreline search but no sign of the two missing men have been reported. Police are tasked to continue in an ongoing search.
Police have opened an inquest docket. The body of the deceased teenager has been taken into the care of Government Health Forensic Pathology Services.
It appears that the two teenagers and the 20-year-old man were swimming when they were caught in rip currents. A 28-year-old bystander launched into the surf to try to help but he was swept away by rip currents.