South African Police Service (SAPS) divers have recovered the bodies of two teenagers who went missing in the surf off of Sea Point in Cape Town.
SAPS divers, Emergency services and volunteers from the National Sea Rescue Institute responded to a call from a Cape Times journalist who relayed reports of a body spotted in the surf at Rocklands beach.
Despite rough surf and a difficult search area the SAPS divers were able to recover the body of a 15-year-old female on Monday evening. Shortly afterwards, the divers located and retrieved the body of a 16-year-old male.
The bodies of the deceased have been taken to a Government Health Forensic Pathology Services facility for autopsy.
“At 17h37, Monday, 25 November, NSRI Table Bay and NSRI Bakoven were alerted following a report from a Cape Times reporter confirming that a body, suspected to be a body of one of the missing teenagers, had been spotted in the surf at Rocklands Beach,” An NSRI press release reads.
“The Police Dive Unit, Sea Point Police, CoCT Law Enforcement officers, Community Medics, NSRI rescue swimmers from NSRI Headquarters, from NSRI Table Bay and from NSRI Bakoven, CoCT Lifesaving lifeguards, 2 NSRI sea rescue craft, one from NSRI Bakoven and one NSRI Table Bay, and WC Government Health EMS rescue squad responded.
“In a controlled environment, with all care and dignity afforded to the families and friends of the 3 missing teenagers, and with Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services Chaplains Services providing care to the families on the scene, despite rough sea conditions and the barely accessible search area, the body of the 15-year-old female was located and recovered from the surf by Police divers and the body has been taken into the care of Government Health Forensic Pathology Services.
“A short while later, under similar circumstances, Police divers located and recovered the body of the 16-year-old male from the surf and the body has been taken into the care of the Government Health Forensic Pathology Services.
“Community Medics paramedics and EMS paramedics assisted the families with the declarations.
“NSRI and Police commend the Cape Times reporter who raised the alarm this afternoon which contributed to the successful recoveries that were made.
“NSRI, Sea Point Police, the Police Dive Unit, Law Enforcement and the emergency medical services convey Condolences to the families and friends of the deceased.”
An 18-year-old male, who was part of the group of teenagers who are believed to have been caught up in a riptide on Sunday, is still missing with search and rescue efforts ongoing.
“Police divers and Sea Point Police are continuing in an ongoing search operation for the 18-year-old male who remains missing. Thoughts and support remain with the family and friends of the missing teenager.
“NSRI, Sea Point Police, the Police Dive Unit, Law Enforcement and the emergency medical services commend the Sea Point community and the greater Cape Town community for the compassion and dignity they have displayed on the scene of this tragedy at Rocklands Beach on Sunday and Monday.”
Two of the teenagers hailed from Burundi while the 15-year-old girl and a 16-year-old male were from the Congo.