The search continued on Tuesday morning for the body of the 18-year-old man from Burundi who drowned along with three others at Rocklands beach on Sunday, November 24.
Two more bodies, of a 16-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl, both from the Congo, were recovered on Monday afternoon.
The teenagers had been living at the Central Methodist Church in Greenmarket Square with their parents and other refugees.
Refugee spokesperson JP Balous said the teenagers left in a large group of more than 20 to the beach during the church service on Sunday. He said they didn’t tell anyone they were going, and later he received a call to say they were in trouble.
“We rushed to the beach to see to them, and when I got there, one body was lying on the beach. It is a very traumatic situation.”
According to NSRI spokesperson, Craig Lambinon, the 15-year-old from Burundi was found by three surfers who had been surfing nearby on Sunday.
They pulled him onto one of the surfboards. “An NSRI rescue swimmer swam out from Rocklands beach and reached the surfers about 200 meters off-shore and CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) efforts were commenced on the surfboard at sea on the teenager,” said Mr Lambinon.
Paramedics continued with advanced life support CPR at Three Anchor Bay slipway but despite extensive CPR and after all efforts were exhausted, he was declared dead.
Mr Lambinon said the friends were caught in a rip current after they entered the water for a swim.
A local bystander had entered the water to try to assist them and he also got into difficulty in the surf.
Mr Lambinon said the bystander was brought to shore by a surfer and he was attended to by Fire
and Rescue Services paramedics.
He said NSRI rescue swimmers, SA Police Services, Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services and Fire Dive unit, Law Enforcement, Cape Town Traffic Services, the EMS/AMS Skymed rescue helicopter and WC Government Health EMS and EMS rescue squad had responded to the alert.