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Tragic Drowning Incident in Knysna Lagoon Calls for Heroic Community Response

Published September 21, 2023
9 months ago

A canoeing incident, which led to the untimely death of a local man in the Knysna Lagoon located at the Ashmead Channel, surfaced as a ripple of concern through the community. Following reports of the canoe capsize on Wednesday, authorities, including the South African Police Services (SAPS) and the SAPS Water Policing and Dive Services (SAPS WPDS), initiated an immediate search operation.



With the local community closely following the tragic unfolding, NSRI Knysna, the WC Government Health EMS rescue squad, SA National Parks rangers and Allsound Security enthusiastically participated in the search operation. The operation was furthered by the input of various community individuals who volunteered their assistance.


The incident occurred during the spring high tide, when the canoe, reportedly with an adult male aboard, capsized between Cathy’s Park and Costa Sarda, approximately 200 to 300 meters off-shore. In light of this situation, the Sea Rescue Craft 'Katherine' was promptly launched.



Bravery ensued as a local shoreline angler dashed to the scene to attempt a rescue effort for the drowning man. The individual was later brought ashore by NSRI's rescue swimmers and provided with immediate medical attention by the EMS paramedics. His condition was severe yet stable when transported to the hospital.


Thursday witnessed the conclusion of the search operation as the body of the missing man was located and recovered from the water. Following the unfortunate event, the deceased was cared for by the WC Government Health Forensic Pathology Services.


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