Body of Kriel man retrieved from river seven days after drowning
Lieutenant General Daphney urged the public to take precautions whenever they go to dams, rivers or lakes.
Photo supplied: SAPS
On 13 June 2022, a local pastor in Kriel, Mpumalanga and a congregant went to a nearby river to pray. However, the man “somehow fell and drowned”.
Kriel drowning incident
According to Brigadier Selvy Mohlala, the incident was reported to authorities, but the man’s body could not be retrieved by the Police Diving Unit.
“The search for the man continued for days without any success until the divers finally retrieved his body this [Saturday] morning.”
Now, seven days since the incident was reported, the man had been identified as 43-year-old Eric Tshifhiwa Phaswane from Thubelihle in Kriel.
Authorities say an inquest had been opened.
Steer clear of rivers and dams
Meanwhile, Lieutenant General Semakaleng Daphney urged the public to proceed with caution, especially following heavy rainfall in the region.
“The incident is unfortunate and regrettable. We, therefore, request community members to think twice before coming closer to the rivers or dams for whatever reason as this might place their lives at risk”, Daphney said.
He urged members of the public to take precautions whenever they go to dams, rivers streams, rivers or lakes in Mpumalanga.
Water safety tips
It is essential to assess the risk before crossing a river or entering a dam. Remember to check for hazards in the immediate areas, as well as downstream.
It’s not recommended to cross a river when the banks are overflowing, or if the river is flooding – most likely to happen after heavy rainfall.
Also avoid crossing on a bend, or in any region where another stream joins the river. Take small shuffling steps and move diagonally downstream.
Do not climb or walk on rocks and logs near streams as it could be slippery, regardless of being wet or dry.
Compiled by Cheryl Kahla.