Picture: for illustration purposes

Tragic End: Canoeist's Body Recovered from Knysna Lagoon

Published September 21, 2023
9 months ago

In a tragic turn of events, the body of a local man who went missing following a canoeing incident in the Knysna Lagoon was finally recovered. The man, in his early 20s, had capsized on Wednesday and was reported missing. A combined search and recovery operation was launched by the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) and local police divers.

The operation lasted approximately 24 hours, with the NSRI Knysna crew activated immediately after eyewitness reports of a capsized canoe in the Ashmead Channel of the Knysna Lagoon. The area, situated between Kathy's Park and Costa Sarda, was approximately 200-300 metres offshore.

Jerome Simonis, the station commander of NSRI Knysna, noted that the search operation involved intensive air, shoreline, underwater and surface water efforts, adding, "On Thursday, the body of the missing man was located and recovered from the water by police divers."

Surrounding the incident, another heroic chapter unfolded when a man, understood to be a friend of the canoeist, attempted to save him unsuccessfully. Despite the adverse conditions of the spring high tide, the gallant friend carried out the rescue endeavour, resulting in his own hospitalization. The NSRI had the man sent to a local hospital where he remains stable. Simonis commended the man's quick thinking and brave efforts.

The NSRI underscored the challenges posed by the unusual blue supermoon that amplified the spring tide, reminding bathers and maritime communities to exercise extra caution during such periods.

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