KZN sharks

Facebook/ Daai Plek – Holiday Home

KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board staff drown while inspecting protective netting

The KZN Sharks Board and its staff members were assessing a shart net in Richards Bay when tragedy struck. Now, officials have lost their lives.

KZN sharks

Facebook/ Daai Plek – Holiday Home

KwaZulu-Natal Sarks Board staff based in Richards Bay have drowned on Wednesday morning after an attempt to inspect shark nets went wrong.

The boat capsized and a rescue operation was underway as video footage emerged showing bodies being pulled out of the water.

At least five people were on board the boat at the time it capsized.

Daily News reports that a video on a local forum shows a man with “red swimming trunks pulling a man out of the water near a rocky shoreline.” He was assisted by men wearing blue overalls. The video also shows what looked like another body in the distance on the sand a few meters away from the water.

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In a video posted by Daai Plek – Holiday Home on Facebook, the rescue operation can be seen continuing as people rush around trying to pull more bodies out of the water.

“Rescue personnel are gathered at Alkantstrand’s Newark Beach after a KZN Sharks Board boat flipped in rough surf a short while ago while doing maintenance. Initial reports indicate that there are 2 known fatalities and others still missing. National Rescue has sent an aeroplane, portnet & NSRI Rescue team have joined the search,” the captions alongside the video said.

Surf Alliance has confirmed that while it is not fully clear how many people have died, there were a number of fatalities during the incident.

The Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs (EDTEA) also released a short statement confirming the incident.

“A boat allegedly capsized while carrying five Sharks Board employees. A rescue operation is currently taking place,” the statement said.

The KZN Sharks Board has 37 beaches that are equipped with safety gear. The majority of the shark nets run 6m deep and are secured by anchors and inspected daily.

The board has more than 50 years of experience and is the only organisation that has a sole focus on providing swimmers protection against sharks.

You can see the video for yourself below.