Johannesburg – Five people are believed to have drowned and two others have been critically injured in two separate boating accidents on the Vaal River and the Vaal Dam on Saturday afternoon, paramedics said.
Five men in their 30s are believed to have drowned after their boat capsized on the Vaal River near the Spider Valley Road, near Vereeniging in Gauteng, ER24 spokesperson Ross Campbell said in a statement.
Two people, one male and one female, also believed to be in their 30s, survived with minor injuries, he said.
ER24 paramedics were on the scene at 5.50pm, along with the South African Police Service (SAPS) and local metro emergency medical services (EMS). One body had been recovered and four were still missing.
“Metro EMS declared the man dead on arrival. The two survivors declined transportation to the hospital. The man explained that the boat was taking on water when it capsized. SAPS were on the scene for investigation and waiting on rescue divers to begin the recovery,” Campbell said.
In the other accident, a 41-year-old woman and a 44-year-old man both suffered critical injuries when a jet-ski and a speedboat collided at the Vaal Marina on Saturday afternoon. They were both on the speedboat when the incident took place.
ER24 paramedics arrived on the scene, along with another private service, at 3.20pm. The injured people had been brought to the shore by bystanders on another boat.
“The female patient was found to have suffered a head injury, while the male patient had suffered multiple injuries, and both required advanced life support interventions. They were flown by medical helicopter to a private hospital for further care.”
Two other people on the speedboat, a younger man and woman, were found to have suffered minor injuries and were treated by the other private service on the scene. The man from the jet-ski was unharmed in the incident, Campbell said.
Netcare 911 spokesperson Shawn Herbst said reports from the scene indicated that “an adult male operating a jet-ski lost control, colliding with a power boat”.
“While medics worked to stabilise all the patients on the scene, the Netcare 2 and Netcare 3 specialised helicopters were activated to airlift the most seriously injured patients,” Herbst said.
African News Agency (ANA)