KZN premier calls for full investigation into Durban beach drowning tragedy
KwaZulu-Natal premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube has called for a full investigation into a drowning incident that claimed three lives on Saturday at North Beach in Durban.
The probe would involve gathering facts about safety measures in place, her spokesperson Lennox Mabaso said on Sunday.
“The details of the incidents are still sketchy. However, it is believed that a freak wave put many people into distress while swimming and they tragically drowned. Seventeen others are reported injured.
“The premier has called for a full investigation into this terrible tragedy. This will include fact-finding on all safety measures ... Dube-Ncube has directed that support be prioritised to all affected families in this time of tragedy and grief for our province,” he said.
Shortly after the incident on Saturday afternoon, the death of three people — swept out to sea by rip currents — was confirmed by the eThekwini municipality.
“It took a team of 35 lifeguards to execute a mass rescue effort and another team of paramedics to attend to the more than 100 people who were involved in the incident. Despite the best efforts of the emergency response team, three people lost their lives, with others transported to hospital,” said municipal spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela.
Dube-Ncube said the traumatic incident happened as thousands of visitors were enjoying themselves in various water recreational facilities at beaches and in the sea during the holiday season.
She called on authorities and operators manning the beaches to ensure adequate and preventive safety measures were in place to avoid further loss of life.
“The premier has also appealed to all visitors and beach goers to follow safety advice and be safe around the sea and at swimming pools. All visitors must swim in areas demarcated and protected by lifeguards and at appropriate times deemed [to be safe for] bathing,” said Mabaso.
“The unpredictable weather must also be assessed before anyone takes to the beach or the sea.”
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