29 November 2004

Sea-search for missing boy continues

Sea rescuers have been kept busy this weekend as two separate incidents occurred on the same day - one involving a boy who was washed off rocks near Hermanus and another where a raft was found capsized off Miller's Point.

In the first incident on Saturday, an eight-year-old boy from Mitchells Plain was washed off rocks near a beach between Vo´┐Żlklip and Grotto beach.

Lifeguards, together with National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) members and police officers conducted searches both along the shore and in the water. The boy, whose name was not given, was visiting the beach with his family.

NSRI spokesperson Craig Lambinon said: "Professional lifeguards assisted a crew aboard the NSRI Hermanus's Hunters Gold Rescuer boat in an all-day water-based search."

"A shore search was also conducted by lifeguards, rescue crew and police officers. The sea conditions were rough, with swells of two metres and southerly winds blowing at 30 knots."

Police spokesperson Billy Jones said: "Boland police were sent out and the boy was not spotted. We are going to continue our search both in the water and on land."

In a second incident on Saturday, Simon's Town NSRI members and the Red Cross Rescue helicopter were dispatched to the scene of a capsized boat off Miller's Point. Crew members aboard the Spirit of Freemasonry were able to tow the 2,5m boat back to the NSRI base.

NSRI Simon's Town spokesperson Dave Roberts said: "The craft appears to be a river raft that has probably been adrift at sea for close to six months. There were no markings on the boat."

Roberts said that the boat was in a dilapidated state and had barnacles growing on the hull.

NSRI Simon's Town are investigating the boat's origin and suspect that it may come from another country.

Source: Cape Times

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