John Costello, NSRI Port St Johns station commander, said; “On 18 April at 11h50 NSRI Port St Johns volunteers were activated following reports of a drowning in progress at Ntafufu River Mouth, 6 nautical miles North of Port St Johns.
We launched our sea rescue craft Freemasons Way and on arrival on-scene, in 35 foot breaking swells with a 10 knot North Easterly wind, in extremely rough seas and a breaker line way further out to sea than normal, an extensive sea and shoreline search has revealed no sign of a 29 year old Belgium National (who has been working in South Africa and was on holiday with his 23 year old brother in the Transkei) who is missing and who is presumed to have drowned.
It appears that the brothers had gone for a swim at the beach adjacent to the Ntafufu River Mouth when according to the 23 year old brother (the survivor) they were swept out to sea by what we believe were strong rip currents (prevailing in the area) and the 23 year old managed to get to shore but had lost sight of his brother in the large seas.
Locals from a resort, that the two men were staying at, launched a search before activating NSRI and it is believed that the incident happened at around 11h30.
A police k-9 unit will be dispatched to the area today, 19 April, to continue a search for the missing man and NSRI are being assisted by the Belgium Consulate and the Department of International Relations and Cooperation to deal with the matter and an inquest docket will be opened by Police.
Although family abroad have been notified the name of the missing man has not been released at this stage.
It is suspected that the full-moon Spring tide and very rough sea conditions may have contributed to this tragic incident which occurred at the peak of the Spring high tide as it turned to begin its regress towards low tide.”