South Africa, Cape Town – While an extensive multi-agency sea search for a seasonal lifeguard who disappeared in the surf in False Bay continued yesterday, the body of a missing fisherman has been retrieved three days after the boat he was on overturned.
The busy Muizenberg Beach was closed to the public yesterday to allow rescue services to conduct an extensive search operation for the lifeguard reported missing in the water on Saturday.
According to Mayco member for community and health services Zahid Badroodien, the lifeguard fell off a rescue sled being towed by a ski, as it was en route to help a kite surfer in distress, at St James Beach, just before 3pm.
“The senior lifeguard was operating the craft, with the seasonal lifeguard on the rescue sled. It is suspected that the lifeguard was knocked off the sled, about 50m to 100m offshore, and he then disappeared in the water,” Badroodien said.
A search operation involving lifeguards immediately started, with assistance from the National Sea Rescue Institute, law enforcement, Fire and Rescue Services, Disaster Risk Management, and Emergency Medical Services. Despite efforts, the search was called off on Saturday as the sun set, and commenced again on Sunday.
“Counselling has been arranged for the lifeguard’s colleagues and friends. The City will do everything possible to find our lifeguard, and to assist his colleagues, family and friends during this difficult time,” said Badroodien.
Meanwhile, the search for Godfrey Adams came to an end yesterday morning, after his body was found by his family and friends in Rooi-Els, near Pringle Bay.
Adams and four other Lobster fishermen from Mitchells Plain were on their 7m fishing boat on Thursday when it overturned offshore at Rooi Els.
National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) spokesperson Craig Lambinon said sea rescue vehicles from NSRI Gordons Bay and other emergency authorities were activated.
“Three of the fishermen had managed to reach the shoreline safely and they were not injured. A search commenced for two fishermen who were missing,” said Lambinon.
During the search, one of the missing fishermen – 48-year-old Donavon Williams – was recovered on a sea rescue craft, but was declared dead.
Despite an extensive sea, air and shoreline search in the following days, there was no sign of Adams until yesterday.
Family spokesperson Jeremy Williams, 58, said they were still trying to come to terms with the loss of Donavon.
“Donavon was out there with his two brothers, one of them his twin, and their two friends. His death has also opened old wounds. I lost my uncle at sea in Pringle Bay and to date his body has never been recovered.
’’Donavon started fishing when he was 17 years old, while he was still staying with me in Grassy Park. Fishing is our tradition that dates back to our great grandfathers,” said Williams.