Mondlo mourns as young man’s body is recovered from water

Cornel McDermott and Imtiaz Sahib spent approximately two and a half hours searching for the body of a young man who had drowned in Mondlo.

VRYHEID Neighbourhood Watch members responded to a call for assistance from Public Safety Officer, TS Mthembu and AbaQulusi Mayor, Jerry Sibiya, in the recovery of the body of a man who had drowned in Mondlo.

According to Patrol Commander for Vryheid Neighbourhood Watch, Imtiaz Sahib, who responded to the call, he informed Officer Mthembu to contact Richards Bay or Empangeni Search and Rescue. A few minutes later, he received a call from the mayor, who informed him that the search and rescue teams would only be able to respond the following morning.

Sahib placed a notice on the Vryheid Neighbourhood Watch emergency group and Cornell McDermott and Lood and Jessica Schoeman responded to assist in the recovery of the body.

Vryheid Neighbourhood Watch’s Lood Schoeman assisted from the banks beside the body of water that claimed the life of a young man.

Unsure of the exact location, the Neighbourhood Watch team were met by Mayor Sibiya at a designated point and then escorted to the exact location of the tragedy, where they were joined by the Fire Department as well as the municipality to search for the young man’s body.

Sahib gauged the depth of the mass of water which had claimed the life of the young man, believed to be between the ages of 17 and 19 years old and discovered that it was extremely deep. Using the ladder from the fire truck, Sahib and McDermott entered the depths of the water and carried out a two and a half hour search before finally recovering the body as approximately three hundred onlookers watched.

The search operation for the young man who had drowned was carried out by Cornel McDermott and Imtiaz Sahib.

The body was handed over to the SAPS and the crew, who assisted in the recovery, were thanked by Mayor Sibiya for their selfless assistance in the community’s time of need.

“I would like to pass on my appreciation to the team from Vryheid Neighbourhood Watch,” wrote Mayor Sibiya. “Indeed you are true patriots of the public and, without you, nothing would have happened. Thanks also to Honourable Cllrs DA Nkosi, Ward Cllr Nxumalo, municipal workers, Manager of Public Safety, TS Mthembu, the workers from the Disaster Team eMondlo, the ward committee and community who assisted us in finding Mr Buthelezi. May God Almighty bless you all. Our sincere condolences to the Buthelezi family in this, your time of great loss. May God be with you.”

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Elaine Rodway

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