Eight girls drown in South Africa

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Eight teenage girls have drowned after going for an early-morning swim on one of South Africa's most popular surfing beaches.

Eight teenage girls have drowned after going for an early-morning swim on one of South Africa's most popular surfing beaches.

The girls, aged 16 and 17, were among dozens of students who went swimming yesterday during a weekend school outing to the Richards Bay area in KwaZulu-Natal.

"They went swimming at 7am - an hour before the lifeguards arrived," a police spokesman, Captain Tienkie van Vuuren, said.

"It seems several got in to difficulties - some were rescued when the lifeguards arrived, but I can confirm that seven drowned. The victims were all girls."

Rescuers looked for a missing eighth girl, but the search was called off after several hours and she was presumed drowned.

"One lifeguard arrived at the beach for duty to find a large group of youngsters swimming," National Sea Rescue Institute spokesman Craig Lambinon said. "The tide was going out, causing dangerous rip currents and the lifeguard attempted to warn the swimmers."

The students had spent the night staying in three buses at the beach. They were from Ndela high school in the town of Piet Retief, about 185 miles north-east of Richards Bay.

Comments