The body of an Algoa Park boy who went missing at the Van Stadens Resort Sunday afternoon has been found during an early morning search and rescue operation.
Police have confirmed that the body of Lebongo Mtshiselwa,9, was found in the lagoon by search and rescue officials at about 7:20am Monday morning.
EMS officials declared him dead on the scene.
Lebongo was last seen playing in the water with his friends Sunday afternoon.
A search operation was launched at about 6.30pm on Sunday, but was called off about two hours later due to poor visibility.
Metro EMS operations manager Ashwell Botha said: “A ground search among the dunes, in the low-level lagoon and along the coast was initiated by fellow campers at the resort.”
Blue Horizon Bay Neighbourhood Watch was also roped in and used 4×4 vehicles and quad bikes to assist with the ground search.
The police helicopter also conducted an aerial search.
The resort, situated on the outskirts of Port Elizabeth, is surrounded by bush and borders a lagoon and the beach.
Police spokeswoman Colonel Priscilla Naidu said Lebongo had been on a day outing with relatives and friends.
“His parents were not at the resort,” she said.
“The children had gone out to play and returned in the afternoon to eat lunch.”
Naidu said the group of about eight children then returned to the lagoon where they continued to play.
The children returned to the resort at about 4pm without Lebongo.
When asked where Lebongo was, the children said he was still coming.
After a while, the adults went to look for the child, who was nowhere to be found.
Naidu said the police and emergency services were activated by 6pm.