Strong tide kills 3 at Eastern Beach
A report has revealed that a strong tide claimed the lives of Mbuzo Oko (14) and Hoboyi Philasande (13), learners from Mbekweni Junior Primary School in Mthatha at the Eastern Beach on Friday.
A male civilian drowned on Saturday, bringing the number to three this past week alone.
Twenty-two learners, five teachers and three parents were part of a farewell outing. The teenagers, together with four other learners were swimming outside the lifeguards' demarcated areas. Life Guards managed to save four lives and the two teens were declared dead at the scene.
MEC for the Eastern Cape Department of Education, Fundile Gade said, “I urge all parties with either direct or indirect interest in the matter to exercise caution and resist the temptation of a blame game. Ours is to prepare for them (learners) a deserving and dignified send-off.” “The Authorities have protocols to support us, so we are okay as a family. Thank you to friends for support and future support,” said Mawande Naki, Muzo Oko’s uncle.
According to the police, an inquest docket has been opened. Buffalo City Municipality called upon everyone involved in the supervision of children to always accompany children during their expeditions.
“The incident on Saturday took place away from the demarcated swimming area, and even though lifeguards managed to pull the adult male patron out, he succumbed during resuscitation. The Municipality is increasing the number of lifeguards’ deployment, having advertised an additional 42 posts for the expected busy festive season,” said Samkelo Ngwenya, spokesperson for BCMM.
He added that the scorching heat will result in a lot of schools touring the beach area and the Municipality is calling on teachers and adults to always ensure that they supervise children during swimming.