A rogue wave leaves three dead and 17 seriously injured

It is a violent maritime phenomenon that reminds us that vigilance is still required in light of the unpredictability of the oceans. Three swimmers died in a rogue wave and 17 others were seriously injured at a popular South African beach on Saturday, emergency services said.

“There was a rogue wave that swept people out to sea, three drowned and 17 were taken to hospital,” said Robert Mckenzie, spokesman for KwaZulu province’s rescue services. He said one of the dead was a 7- or 8-year-old child. The injured are “in serious or even critical condition”.

A “mass rescue effort”

Durban City Hall later clarified that the three dead, including “a teenager”, had been “carried away by currents”, and specified that 35 members of the emergency services were mobilized in this “mass rescue effort”. Medical personnel also attended to the hundreds of people affected by the incident.

The phenomenon occurred around 5pm at Bay of Plenty, one of Durban’s beaches. South Africa’s third-largest city has gradually reopened its beaches after they were closed due to high levels of E.coli from the municipal sewage system, badly damaged by floods this year. These floods killed more than 400 people in April.

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