Boy presumed drowned after school outing

A Motherwell schoolboy is presumed to have drowned during a school outing to the Zwartkops Conservancy Picture: Fredlin Adriaan
A Motherwell schoolboy is presumed to have drowned during a school outing to the Zwartkops Conservancy
Picture: Fredlin Adriaan

A Motherwell schoolboy went missing and is presumed to have drowned in a remote section of the Redhouse River while on an educational school excursion on Friday (24/02/17).

The incident occurred just after 1pm when the 14-year-old boy, accompanied by about 123 classmates from Enkwenkwezini Primary School, were hiking the Flamingo Trail under the leadership of two teachers, assisted by a guide from the Zwartkops Conservancy.

According to emergency medical personnel on the scene, the group of about 124 scholars had reached a resting point along a section of the river between Perseverance and Motherwell.

The guide heard splashing in the water about 150m from the resting point and reported seeing the boy surfacing several times while fighting to stay afloat. Moments later he disappeared.

Police spokesman Constable Mncedi Mbombo said despite police divers searching for the boy for more than three hours, he had not been found.

“The children were out on a school trip to the Redhouse River as part of a school project. The children were instructed not to jump in the water but it was hot and one of the kids decided to swim,” Mbombo said.

Zwartkops Conservancy environmental officer Jenny Rump described the incident as a tragedy, adding that it was the first incident of its kind the conservancy had experienced in almost 20 years.

The school could not be reached for comment yesterday afternoon.

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