‘Parents are also advised to caution their children not to go swimming in ditches or holes filled with rain water.’
Members of the search and rescue unit of the South African Police Service in Limpopo, together with members of other emergency and response services in the province, have had an extremely eventful few days with continuous rain falling across the province, reports the Letaba Herald.
On Thursday and Friday, members of the unit together with the Air Wing rescued two women and three girls, aged between 6 and 10 years, who were trapped in the Limpopo River near Beit Bridge.
“It is suspected that they attempted to enter the country illegally when they became trapped by the rising river. After medical treatment, they were all handed over to Home Affairs for further investigation,” the police said in a statement.
The bodies of two unknown men, who were swept away by the river, were also recovered in the same area.
On Saturday, members were involved in the rescue of a man who was trapped in a swollen river in the Dennilton area.
The man was clinging to a tree in the fast flowing river for a few hours before he was successfully brought ashore by SAR members.
The divers attached to the same unit further assisted with the recovery of bodies of three young boys who drowned in ditches filled with water in the Giyani and Mankweng areas.
“With rains continuing to fall in the province the South African Police Service are issuing a warning to all members of the community to exercise extreme caution when attempting to cross swollen or fast flowing rivers and streams whether on foot or by vehicle. The water on top might seem as if it is flowing smoothly and calm but the strong current underneath can sweep away a person or a vehicle with ease.”
“Parents are also advised to caution their children not to go swimming in ditches or holes filled with rain water. They might underestimate the depth of the water and fall into difficulty which can lead to disastrous drowning,” the police concluded.