South Africa
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Tafelsig man missing at sea, but friend rescued

Cape Town: The search continues for a 28-year-old man who disappeared in the sea waters at Wolfgat Nature Reserve while taking a swim with his friend, who was rescued.

Claims were that Chessray Loverlot of Tafelsig, Mitchells Plain, had attempted to save his friend’s life when he got into difficulty yesterday afternoon.

Chessray’s parents, Ian and Charlene Loverlot, said they had not been present when the incident occurred, but that friends claimed he had tried to save a man’s life.

The National Sea Rescue Institute said a 32-year-old man had been found alive, but injured and suffering non-fatal drowning symptoms.

He had been rescued by members of the public and local lifeguards.

NSRI Strandfontein Station Commander Vaughn Seconds said the search would continue for the missing man, and that it was understood the two were missing when they got into danger.

“At 14h33 on Wednesday, the City of Cape Town (CoCT) water rescue network was activated following reports of a drowning in progress at Wolfgat Nature Reserve,” he said.

“CoCT Law Enforcement Marine Unit, CoCT lifeguards, NSRI Strandfontein, Western Cape Government Health EMS (Emergency Medical Services), Life Healthcare response paramedics, Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services, CoCT Metro Police, the SA Police Services, CoCT Environmental Management rangers and the EMS/AMS Skymed rescue helicopter responded.

“On arrival at the scene, between Wolfgat Nature Reserve and Monwabisi, on a remote stretch of coastline, a 32-year-old male, believed to be from Tafelsig, was found injured on the beach suffering non-fatal drowning symptoms.

“It is believed that he was rescued from the water by members of the public and CoCT lifeguards, and Law Enforcement Marine Unit officers initiated medical treatment on the man,” said Seconds.

“The injured man was taken into the care of paramedics and, following a thorough medical assessment, he was released on the scene.

“A 28-year-old male, from Tafelsig, is reported to be missing.

“Eyewitnesses on the scene confirmed that the man was seen in the water before disappearing.

“We believe that the two men were swimming when they got into difficulties in the water.

“The NSRI sea rescue craft Sharon, the EMS/AMS Skymed rescue helicopter and emergency services resources on the shoreline conducted an extensive sea, air and shoreline search, but no sign of the missing man has been found. A Police Dive Unit will continue the search operation.

“Our thoughts are with the family of the missing man in this difficult time.”

Charlene Loverlot met with police at the seafront this morning, in hopes of finding his body.

She said she also attempted to report him missing last night, but met with police today.

She said information about the events leading to the drowning had still to be confirmed.

“I was at work when it happened and when I went to the police station to report him missing, they said to wait for a sector van,” she said.

“The friends claimed he tried to save his friend, but I cannot confirm anything as I was at work at the time.”

His father, Ian Loverlot, also confirmed that friends said his son had tried to save a friend, but that they were not present to verify the events.

Weekend Argus