Youngster drowns in croc-infested dam

The area around which the incident occurred.

A 15-year-old boy drowned in a croc-infested dam near Malelane Stene in KaBokweni when he and three of his friends went for a swim last week.

It is alleged that Sipho Ngobeni lost his grip of an object that had been keeping him afloat, causing him to drown. Sgt Cynthia Mbokodo, spokesman for White River Police Station, confirmed that the incident was reported around 17:00 last Sunday afternoon.

“When we arrived we discovered that the dam was teeming with crocodiles,” said the diving unit’s Capt Pottie Potgieter. The unit was only able to recover the boy’s body at around 21:00 that night.  With the festive season on our doorstep, we urge parents not to let their children swim without supervision,” he said.

Potgieter added that locals should exercise caution as most Lowveld dams or rivers contain either crocodiles or hippos. “Beware of strong currents; weak swimmers can easily be swept away. The best manner to prevent drowning is through effective education and training,” he said, and added that children should be educated.

“They should be taught how to tread water, float and to be safe in different watery locations. Teach kids to swim with a partner, every time.  Most important is to perceive and avoid the risk – when in doubt whether it is safe to enter the water – don’t!” concluded Potgieter.

Also read: Protect your children by learning CPR today

Stefan de Villiers

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