The body of a Hartbeespoort man was recovered on Monday after his car was swept away by flash floods.
According to National Sea and Rescue Institute (NSRI) Hartbeespoort Dam station commander Arthur Crewe, the man was travelling with his wife on Sunday when their vehicle was swept away when they attempted to cross a flooded bridge.
Crewe said they were returning home when the incident happened.
“At 20:03, on Sunday, NSRI Hartbeespoort Dam duty crew were activated following reports from the SRRU [Strategic Response Rescue Unit] of a vehicle swept away by flash floods from a low-lying bridge on a tributary of the Crocodile River in Welgegund on the Glen Afriq Estate close to Hartbeespoort Dam.
“It is believed the husband was able to break a window of their vehicle while it was being swept downstream. The wife was able to escape through it and reached the riverbank. She raised the alarm at a nearby house where residents activated their panic alarm.
“SRRU members, an NSRI Hartbeespoort Dam swift water rescue team, NECSA ambulance services, the SA Police Services, Eagle Towing, CPF members and a police dive unit responded,” said Crewe.
During the search, the submerged vehicle was found 300m downstream.
“NSRI swift water rescue swimmers, Eagle Towing and SRRU members rigged a rope system across the river and despite the fast-flowing water, the NSRI swift water rescue swimmers reached the vehicle and were able to confirm that one person remained in the vehicle.
“Police divers, deployed at the scene, recovered the man from the vehicle and sadly paramedics declared him dead. During the operation, Eagle Towing members and their resources provided vital assistance.
“The body of the man has been taken into the care of government health forensic pathology services. The police have opened an inquest docket,” said Crewe.
The vehicle was recovered from the river on Monday morning.