Motherwell boy, 9, drowns in Swartkops

An afternoon swim with a group of friends ended tragically yesterday, when a nine-year-old Motherwell boy drowned after he and a friend got into difficulties in the Swartkops River at Redhouse. The search for the boy’s friend, 15, who is still missing, will resume today.

EMS district manager Brenhan Metune said the boys had been swimming from one side of the river to the other when they got into difficulties.

“The incident was observed by the other boys on the river bank, who summoned help from boys who were swimming elsewhere.

“The two boys had tied a rope to empty two-litre bottles around their bodies while in the water, mimicking a buoy.

“The nine-year-old had a 500ml plastic bottle in his underpants when the body was recovered [at 2.49pm].”

Police spokesman Constable Mcedi Mbombo said the group of boys had probably gone to the river for a swim to cool off in the heat.

“The search for the second boy had to be abandoned due to poor visibility,” he said, but it would resume today.

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