Three Knysna teenage girls die after being swept out to sea in rip currents

Three teenage girls died after being swept out to sea in rip currents at Knysna this afternoon.

In spite of extensive CPR efforts to save them at the Knysna hospital they were declared dead by medical staff.

NSRI  urgently appeal to people to exercise extreme caution around the coast while the current full moon spring tide brings a higher than normal high tide and a lower than normal low tide and stronger than normal rip currents  – the effects of which will last into next week.

Recounting today’s tragic incident, Graeme Harding, NSRI Knysna station commander said at 12.40 pm NSRI Knysna volunteer sea rescue duty crew were activated following eye-witness reports of 4 teenagers being swept out to sea at Leisure Isle, Knysna.

NSRI Knysna volunteer sea rescue swimmers and nearby municipal lifeguards responded directly to the scene and WC Government Health EMS, SA Police Services, Allsound Security and ER24 ambulance service responded. Harding said the girls believed to be locals, were about 300 meters off-shore of Leisure Isle being swept by rip-currents in the direction of the Knysna Heads.

One girl in the group managed to get out of the water safely and unassisted and was uninjured. Three Municipal lifeguards and an NSRI rescue swimmer swam out to the 3 girls and found them lying face down in the water.

The girls were brought to shore where CPR efforts were immediately initiated and these efforts were continued whle the girls were being rushed to hospital by ambulances. After extensive continuing CPR efforts were exhausted doctors declared all three girls dead.

Police opened an inquest docket and are attempting to locate family of the four girls. According to eye-witnesses it is believed the teenagers may have been walking along the bank when they stepped into shallow water and were then swept off their feet and swept out to sea by channel and rip currents.

(edited)

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