SEDGEFIELD NEWS - NSRI Wilderness were alerted to reports of a 45 year old Cape Town man who went missing from Swartvlei, the lake between Sedgefield and Knysna, late Friday night 4 January.
Reportedly, earlier, a father and his three children, two girls 16 and 7, and a boy aged 5, on holiday in George and visiting friends at Pine Lake Marina, launched a small boat that they had hired from a private boat rental company, onto Swartvlei to go fishing in the late afternoon.
When they hadn’t returned by nightfall, the man’s wife and friends raised the alarm and it appears civilians launched a search using jet-ski’s.
During their search, reportedly at approximately 20:30, they found the 3 children swimming to shore and only the little boy was wearing a life-jacket, although it has been reported that they had all been issued life-jackets, and all 3 were brought to shore.
Nurses, reportedly on vacation at the resort, treated the children for hypothermia and shock.
The children reported that earlier the boat that they were on had capsized. They had lost sight of their dad and they started to swim to shore.
Civilians, using jet ski’s, reportedly continued to search for their father who was missing.
NSRI and the emergency services were alerted at 21:45.
NSRI Station 23 Wilderness duty crew with 2 NSRI rescue craft, a Police Dive Unit with a Police boat, WC Government Health EMS and the EMS rescue squad, Knysna/Sedgefield Fire and Rescue Services and Sedgefield COP (Community Orientated Police) responded.
An extensive water and shoreline search commenced and the 2 sea rescue craft and the Police boat launched onto Swartvlei and the civilians on jet ski’s were arranged into assisting NSRI and the emergency services in a coordinated sweeping line search and grid search.
The family, the wife and the 3 children, were transported to hospital by ER24 ambulance in the care of paramedics suffering from shock.
During an extensive search in the early hours of Saturday morning, the body of the man was located and recovered and the body has been taken into the care of the Forensic Pathology Services.
Police have opened an inquest docket.
The small boat and the remaining life-jackets have not been located.
NSRI and the emergency services have conveyed Condolences to family and friends.
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