The past weekend in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) was marred by a series of tragic events, as three separate drowning incidents were reported across the region.
Three drownings in a single weekend in KZN
On Sunday evening, IPSS Medical Rescue responded to a distress call near Thompsons Bay.
A person was found unresponsive after being pulled from the water. Immediate CPR was administered by medics on the scene, resulting in the successful return of circulation.
The individual was stabilised under the care of IPSS Medical Rescue and Netcare Advanced Life Support.
In a separate incident, a 32-year-old male tragically lost his life while fishing. He slipped and fell into a lagoon, leading to a fatal drowning.
His body was recovered by a joint team from Port Shepstone Search and Rescue, Durban K9 SAR, and MI7 Rescue.
Another heartbreaking event occurred in the Ncazuka River, Sawoti area, UGU District, where a 30-year-old man drowned.
Furthermore, a third drowning was reported at Umtamvuna River, Port Edward.
A 28-year-old male attempted to cross the river near the Waterworks pump station but slipped and drowned.
What are the leading causes of drowning in South Africa?
Drowning is a leading cause of death, particularly among children and young adults.
Key factors contributing to drowning include lack of swimming ability, absence of barriers to prevent unsupervised water access, and failure to wear life jackets.
Effective drowning prevention strategies include installing barriers to control access to water, providing safe childcare away from water, teaching school-age children basic swimming and water safety skills, and training bystanders in safe rescue and resuscitation.
It’s also crucial to avoid hyperventilation before swimming and not to hold your breath underwater for extended periods, as this can lead to hypoxic blackout or shallow water blackout, potentially resulting in drowning.