Knysna man drowns

Thursday 31 August 2023

In an ongoing search operation on Thursday, 31 August, SA Police Services (SAPS) and the SAPS Water Policing and Dive Services (SAPS WPDS) continued to search for a missing man at Ashmead Channel, Knysna Lagoon, assisted by NSRI Knysna, WC Government Health EMS rescue squad, SA National Parks rangers, Allsound Security and Knysna Safety and Security Initiative (KSSI).

Public members volunteered to assist, and with the cooperation of Police divers, who led the ongoing search efforts, they are commended for their contribution.

An EMS rescue squad aerial search drone, an Allsound Security aerial search drone and a prototype underwater ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle), were used in the ongoing search while NSRI Knysna volunteer rescue crew launched 2 NSRI rescue craft, Katherine and Jaytee IV, assisting Police divers in their ongoing search for the missing local man, aged in his early 20’s, who had gone missing after his canoe capsized.

Earlier media reports suggesting that a search had been called off on Wednesday night are incorrect and are highly insensitive and disrespectful to the extensive efforts Police and the emergency services employed on behalf of the missing man and his loved ones in this search

Search operations continued at intervals throughout the night.

The nature of these kinds of search efforts are ongoing and they involve multiple role players working in tandem, at intervals, and involving ongoing investigations, search planning, shoreline patrols, logistics and operational coordination, conducted by Police and assisted by the emergency services.

While at stages a search of this nature may be suspended from time to time they remain ongoing search efforts on behalf of the missing person or persons and on behalf of their loved ones.

During the ongoing air, shoreline, under water and surface water search and recovery efforts, on Thursday, the body of the missing man was located and recovered from the water by Police divers.

The body of the man was taken into the care of WC Government Health Forensic Pathology Services.

NSRI commend the close working relationships between all emergency services involved. Condolences are conveyed to the family and friends of the deceased man.

The man who was rescued by NSRI rescue swimmers on Wednesday evening, at the scene, after he had gallantly attempted to rescue his friend on the canoe that capsized, he is recovering in hospital in the care of doctors and nurses.

He has been commended for his swift reaction and efforts in trying to rescue his friend.

Duran de Villiers, a local longstanding friend of NSRI, who regularly volunteers his airborne resources to assist in rescue and search operations has been commended for volunteering his self made prototype underwater ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) to assist Police divers in the ongoing search operation that was conducted and on Thursday.

Wednesday 30 August 2023

At 15h20, Wednesday, 30 August, during the peak of the Spring high tide, NSRI Knysna duty crew were activated following eye-witness reports of a small canoe capsized with (believed to be) 1 adult male onboard at Ashmead Channel on Knysna Lagoon, between Cathy’s Park and Costa Sarda, about 200 to 300 meters off-shore.

NSRI Knysna rescue swimmers. SA National Parks (SAN Parks) rangers, the SA Police Services (SAPS), ER24 ambulance services, Knysna Fire and Rescue Services, WC Government Health EMS and the SAPS Water Policing and Dive Services responded.

The sea rescue craft Katherine was launched.

A local man, believed to be a shoreline angler, went to attempt to rescue the casualty in the water at the capsized canoe.

On NSRI rescue swimmers arriving on the scene they swam out and they rescued the Good Samaritan (who is believed to have attempted to rescue the canoeist).

He was brought to shore where assisted by SAN Parks rangers, he was brought to EMS paramedics where medical treatment commenced. He has been transported to hospital by EMS ambulance in a serious but stable condition.

A search continued for the 1 occupant of the canoe who is missing.

Indications suggest that there had only been one person on the canoe when it capsized.

NSRI rescue swimmers and Police divers, assisted by the emergency services, are continuing in a search for the as yet unidentified missing man.

The canoe remains submerged and Police divers have searched the wreck of the canoe under water but there remains no signs of the missing man.

This is an ongoing operation.

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