Coast KZN

16 May 2023

Only swim where there are guards – Lifesaving SA – after Toti drownings

Vusi Mthalane (South Coast Sun) Picture: The scene in Amanzimtoti after the girls were pulled out of the ocean.

Lifesaving South Africa (LSA) has asked beachgoers to only swim where lifeguards are on duty and in demarcated swimming areas so they can be assisted quickly should they experience difficulty while swimming.

This comes after two girls, aged 17 and 18, who were part of a school excursion group from Dududu, drowned in Amanzimtoti near Rogies Park on May 11. The area has a ‘no swimming’ sign, and there were no lifeguards posted. LSA general manager Helen Herbert said three teenagers were washed 100 m out to sea, almost 1 km from the designated bathing area.

“Lifeguards rushed to the scene and managed to rescue all three teenagers from the ocean. The lifeguards put every effort into trying to resuscitate them,” said Hebert.

Two of the teenagers were declared dead at the scene after attempts to resuscitate them failed.

“We applaud the actions of the professional lifeguards from Toti Main Beach, who had to respond from their stationed duty point a distance away from where the incident occurred. LSA extends its sincere condolences to the families of the young teenagers. LSA advises the public and visitors to the coastline to ensure they only swim where there are lifeguards on duty,” said Herbert.