Cape Town – A 22-year-old man is missing in Gqeberha after being swept out to sea by rip currents during a work outing.
The National Sea Rescue Service Institute (NSRI) and other rescue services have been conducting an extensive search for the man.
Despite their efforts, the man has not been found, and the police have opened a missing persons report.
Justin Erasmus, the NSRI station commander in Gqeberha, said his team was alerted to a drowning incident at Maitland Beach at about 13:38 on Friday.
Man missing at Maitlands Beach: https://t.co/BbeOT8qEJn
— National Sea Rescue Institute (@NSRI) June 3, 2023
The incident occurred when the man and his friends, who were employees of a local company, waded into the water at the beach.
“An extensive air, sea and shoreline search was conducted for a 22 year old male, from Eastern Cape, who was missing in the surf line.
“NMB lifeguards and Coastal Water Rescue rescue swimmers conducted sweeping line free dive search efforts.
“It appears that two buses carrying employees of a local company had come to the beach for a function. Three friends, who are students employed by the company, had reportedly waded into the water before the 22-year-old man had waded in beyond being able to stand and he was caught by rip currents and he was swept out to sea and he disappeared,” Erasmus said.
The NSRI and police divers are continuing their search for the missing man, and an investigation has been opened.
“Thoughts are with the family and friends of the missing man in this difficult time,” said Erasmus.
Compiled by Betha Madhomu