Pretoria: 23 October 2023
The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) has confirmed its launch of an investigation into the tragic boat incident at the Vaal River which claimed at least four (4) lives, including that of a toddler.
In a statement in Pretoria on Monday, SAMSA reported that according to a police report, the boating incident occurred at about 16h00 on Saturday when two small vessels, a boat with 10 people on board, and a barge; sailed past each other, and with one, due to its size, reportedly creating a large wake and the resulting waves leading to the other capsizing, and the people on board landing in the water.
“The vessel had reportedly launched at the SAM GROSS municipal site on the Vaal River with 10 persons onboard including the skipper. The vessel was reportedly cruising in the direction towards Vereeniging area when it came across a moving barge in the opposite direction.
“However, according to the report, it was assumed that the barge, due to its size, created a large wake and the resulting waves flooded the speed boat, leading to the speed boat being submerged and eventually capsizing.
“Regrettably, a woman/mother and her three (3) year toddler were trapped under neath the speed boat in the capsized position and drowned. Both were reportedly wearing personal flotation devices.
“The report further indicates that two (2) adults, also fitted with personal floatation devices drowned further away from the capsized speed boat. However, the skipper and other five persons survived the incident.
“According to the report, the SAPS Water wing arrived on scene at about 17:30 and assisted in retrieving all the deceased from the river, as well as all the survivors, within twenty minutes of the incident occurring. Paramedics were reportedly also on the scene and attended to the survivors. An investigation into this incident is ongoingm; “said SAMSA
Meanwhile, SAMSA conveyed its condolences to the family of the deceased.