EMS Alert: EMS Rescue Divers Search for Missing Child
The Western Cape Government Health's Emergency Medical Services (EMS) responded to a possible drowning on 15 August 2012.
At 18:15 at Elsieskraal River, Thornton, EMS was called out after a seven year old boy fell into the fast flowing water whilst playing with a friend. Five rescue divers searched the river, starting from Thornton and moving towards Athlone's Black River, using a technical roping system and inflatable rowing boats, whilst two rescuers walked along the riverbank. The team searched for eight hours but the missing child was not found.
On 16 August 2012, EMS was re-activated to continue the search. Five EMS rescue divers and three South African Police Services (SAPS) divers, proficient in swift water, entered the river on inflatable life boats, starting from Elsieskraal River in Pinelands, opposite Howard Centre, moving towards the Black River in Athlone, as well as covering the river in Paarden Eiland leading towards the sea.
After a thorough search of approximately five hours, the search was postponed due to weather conditions and rising water levels. The search was scheduled to continue on 17 August 2012.
On 17 August 2012 at 10:45 the body of the seven year old boy was recovered by EMS and SAPS divers in the water at the entrance of the Black River in Athlone.
The body has been packaged and will be collected by Forensic Pathology Services.