An Eastern Cape (EC) search and rescue officer has been declared dead after he was swept away by strong currents while on the job.
Fifty-three-year-old Captain Pierre Marx went missing while he attended to a drowning distress call with team member divers from East London K9 Search and Rescue on Saturday evening
The complaint reported four people who were allegedly swept off the Horse Shoe Valley causeway.
When the team arrived at the scene to assess the situation, they established the complainant was on the Island in the mainstream of the Nahoon River together with three deceased, whilst the fourth one was still missing.
According to the report, the officers managed to take the three bodies across the stream.
After successfully rescuing the complainant – who is believed to be a local farmer – Marx struggled with a strong current which swept him away despite his colleague’s attempts to save him.
He disappeared in the heavy stream and was only recovered on Sunday, early morning.
Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Nomthetheleli Mene has expressed shock and devastation at the loss of Marx, who was widely respected as one of the best on the team.
“The untimely passing of Captain Marx has sent shockwaves within the Saps family and the community at large who have voiced out their distress at the devastating news of his drowning,” said Mene.
Captain Pierre Marx is a well-known member of the force who made himself a name within and outside the Saps for his outstanding heroic rescue activities in the Eastern Cape.
He was very popular among various communities who witnessed his sense of commitment and empathetic disposition towards the plight of the people.
He had won a couple of Bravery Awards, one of which was when he saved a young boy from drowning in a stormwater drain in East London.
Mene visited the crime scene and later proceeded to the mortuary, where his body was taken whilst arrangements for his funeral are underway.
“This is a sad day not only for the Saps family but for the entire community. Captain Pierre Marx was an asset and hope for all of us.”
“We have lost a dedicated and dependable hero, a passionate and loyal member of the South African Police Service who kept the Saps Flag flying high on various occasions,” said Mene.
“He promoted the image of the organisation in a manner that made all of us proud to be associated with the Saps.”
“On behalf of the management in the province, I wish to send my deepest condolences to his family, friends, and colleagues. May his soul rest in peace,” Mene concluded.
The details of Captain Marx’s funeral will be communicated in due course.
Compiled by Narissa Subramoney.