Brave father drowns trying to save his kids
A brave local father drowned this afternoon in the Kromme River while trying to save his two teenage children caught in the incoming tide.
The petrified children clung to a pole in the river until they were rescued by NSRI St Francis Bay volunteers.
According to the NSRI, at 3.32 pm Station 21 St Francis Bay was activated by reports of two children in difficulties in the access channel to the Kromme River opposite The Cove.
On arrival on scene, the sea rescue volunteers found two children, a brother and his sister in their early teens, clinging to a channel marker pole engulfed by water from the incoming tide.
It appears the kids were swept away by the strong, choppy, wind-swept tide while they had been wading in shallow water between the access channel and the Kromme River. They managed, however, to reach the pole and had clung on.
NSRI rescue swimmers swam to the children and secured them before flagging down a passing boat that took the children safely to shore.
It was then learned that the children’s father, a 30 year-old local man believed to be from Sea Vista, had swum out to try to rescue his children but got into difficulties. He was then swept upstream by the tide before disappearing from view.
A search party including NSRI volunteers on their private boats, NSRI rescue swimmers free-dive searching, the SAP, Fire and Rescue Services, Metro EMS and Private Care ambulance services, people on private pleasure boats, on fishing boats and on paddle skis, also assisted in the search.
During the search the body of the missing man was located by a local fishing boat. Kerwin Allen and another fellow St Francis NSRI volunteer dragged the body out of the water.
The deceased man was found approximately 150 metres upstream from where eye-witnesses and the man’s family last saw him. The body was handed into the care of police and the Forensic Pathology Services. Police have opened an inquest docket.
The names of the family members and of the deceased have not been released at this stage.
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