Rafting excursion ends in tragedy as guide dies in Storms River

A river rafting guide died in the Storms River at the weekend.
Image: AFP/ Wojtek Radwanski

A rafting excursion ended in tragedy at the weekend when a river guide died during an outing with paddlers on the Storms River in the Eastern Cape.

The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) said the incident happened on Saturday evening, but officials were only able to recover the 31-year-old guide’s body on Sunday.

The recovery was conducted by the police diving unit, SANParks rangers and government forensic pathology officials.

“On Saturday early evening, NSRI Plettenberg Bay duty crew and police had responded to Storms River mouth after nine people, two river guides and seven guests, were reported overdue from a paddle down the Storms River on rafts,” said NSRI station commander in Oyster Bay, Lodewyk van Rensburg.

When the group reached the rendezvous location, there were only eight people on the rafts.

“They reported that one of the river guides had fallen into the water further upriver and was recovered by the group, who performed resuscitation efforts on the man, but he was not revived,” said Van Rensburg.

He said the group had left his body upriver.

“An operation to recover his body took place from first light on Sunday morning,” said Van Rensburg.

The body was recovered and placed into the care of the forensic pathology services.

Police have opened an inquest docket.

The NSRI conveyed its condolences to the family and friends of the deceased man.

BY Naledi Shange

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