Police diver Eastern Cape floods

Police diver Captain Pierre Marx seen with a SAPS dog. Photo: SAPS

Police diver dies during rescue operation for Eastern Cape floods

A true hero.
A rescue operation relating to this weekend’s Eastern Cape floods has led to the tragic death of a police diver.

Police diver Eastern Cape floods

Police diver Captain Pierre Marx seen with a SAPS dog. Photo: SAPS

Heavy downpours this weekend have led to a series of floods in the Eastern Cape. Seven people lost their lives with hundreds displaced. Now, the South African Police Service has confirmed that one of the deaths is a Police diver and captain who had been taking part in a rescue operation.

Eastern Cape floods: Police diver killed during rescue

Videos of heavy flooding in the Mdantsane area in the Buffalo City Municipality left South Africans stunned on Saturday night. Multiple bridges and roads were seen being completely engulfed by rapid water. Several houses and informal structures were also almost completely washed away.

According to the East London Police, 53-year-old Captain Pierre Marx was attending to a complaint of drowning along with other rescue divers. Four people were swept off the Horse Shoe Valley causeway. Marx managed to rescue one, while his colleagues brought back three bodies.

“According to the report, the officers managed to take the three bodies across the stream. After a successful rescue of the complainant who is believed to be a local farmer, Captain Marx struggled with a strong current sweeping him despite attempts by his colleagues to rescue him. He disappeared in the heavy stream and only to be recovered in the early morning of Sunday the 09th January 2022.”

SAPS Brigadier Tembinkosi Kinana
Photo: SAPS

A fallen hero

Eastern Cape Police Lietnentant General Nomthetheleli Mene described Marx as a “dedicated and dependable hero”.

“This is a sad day not only for the SAPS family but for the entire community. Captain Pierre Marx was an asset and hope for all of us. We have lost a dedicated and dependable hero. A passionate and loyal member of the South African Police Service who kept the SAPS Flag flying high on various occasions.”

Mene said in a statement

So what about the rest of the flooding in the Eastern Cape?

Eastern Cape Premier Oscar Mabuyane was on the ground in Mdantsane with his team on Saturday. Mopping up operations are underway. The youngest drowning victim was just 19. The provincial government is now looking at ways it can accommodate those displaced by the Eastern Cape floods.