Two drown at Port St Johns beach

Sharks, a strike, and powerful currents featured in the drowning of two men, one 29, one 16, off Port St Johns’ notorious Second Beach on Sunday.

A few hours after the drownings, a provincial emergency services chopper searching for the bodies spotted two sharks 200m from the bathing area.

PSJ police spokeswoman Captain Nozuko Handile told the Daily Dispatch one of the missing bodies recovered yesterday appeared to have been bitten by sharks.

PSJ mayor Lindelwa Rolobile confirmed to the Dispatch that there were no lifeguards at the beach at the time of the drownings because the guards had joined Samwu’s strike.

Second Beach – the scene of eight fatal shark attacks in the past decade – is one of the world’s most dangerous beaches. Handile said one of the drowning victims was a 29-year-old man from Highbury village in Mthatha, while the other was a 16-year-old from Flagstaff.

A group of coastal patrollers from OR Tambo district municipality, sent to beef up security at beaches, claimed the victims were among about 15 people who had gone into the water on Sunday morning.

Four of the group got into trouble, but two made it back to shore alive.

The other two did not.

Eastern Cape health spokesman Sizwe Kupelo said the latest incidents meant a new safety plan needed to be crafted for the beach.

“Second Beach is notorious for shark attacks. We urge people to take extra precautions.”

He also appealed to bathers to stop people who were intoxicated from entering the surf.

He said the department would assist the municipality with emergency medical care during the festive period.

lPSJ police are looking for relatives of a man found dead at Second Beach on Sunday morning.

The victim had a single stab wound to the chest.

He was wearing a black Uzzi jacket and T-shirt and Uzzi briefs. “Anyone with information can contact police on (047)564-1189 or 071-475-2292. — sikhon@dispatch.co.za

X