10-year-old missing while swimming with friends in the Swartkops River

Swartkops River
Swartkops River
Image: HeraldLIVE

A 10-year-old child is missing and presumed drowned after disappearing while swimming with friends in the Swartkops River on Sunday afternoon.

Police spokesperson Captain Andre Beetge said the child from Motherwell was at the river with nine other friends who were playing in the shallows near the brick factory at about 3pm.

"The children range from 8 to 13 and were at the river swimming without adult supervision," he said.

"According to a primary investigation, eight children came out of the water while another two got into difficulty."

At the time, the children had made a type of raft out of plastic bottles and were pulling each other around with it in the shallows.

"Beetge said that while playing, two children fell off the floating device. "One of the children managed to find his footing and walk out of the water while the other child disappeared."

A passer-by heard the hysterical children shouting and went to look at the commotion.

"Beetge said that when the woman realised what had happened, she called the police.

"The child who survived was taken to hospital for a checkup and for secondary drowning symptoms," he said.

The search for the child was called off at about 6pm.

Beetge said the search would resume at first light on Monday.

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