Body of drowned N Cape boy found
AFTER a two-day search, the body of a nine-year-old boy from Bonita Park, Hartswater was found in a canal yesterday.
Melville Isaacs was last seen on Saturday afternoon, when he was playing at the canal in Bonita Park with five other children.
According to information, the boys were sitting on the edge of the canal, “just wetting their feet”, when Melville fell into the canal and was washed away by the current.
Police were called to the scene and a search and rescue operation commenced, with community and family members also joining in and searching around the clock for the boy.
Melville’s body was discovered in the canal by a community member, about one kilometre from where he fell in, at around 2pm yesterday afternoon.
The community member who found the body noticed the child’s red underpants and alerted the police.
A family member yesterday described Melville, who was a Grade 3 pupil at CW Kies Primary School, as a “loving, happy child, who was much loved by his family and community”.
Police spokesperson, Captain Sergio Kock, yesterday confirmed that the police in Hartswater have opened an inquest into the death of a nine-year-old boy.
“The body was retrieved by the SAPS Diving Unit at around 2pm today (yesterday). A formal identification with the next of kin is being arranged.
“It is believed that the boy and some friends went to cool themselves off in the water canal on Saturday, when the child disappeared under the water. Police divers had been searching for the boy ever since. The investigation continues,” Kock said
Kock urged members of the public to take precautionary measures to avoid drownings and also provided some facts about drownings.
“People can drown in anything including buckets, baths, ponds, lagoons, canals, swamps, the sea, dams, rivers, in paddling or swimming pools and even in drains. Drowning is the second biggest cause of accidental death among young children and is a silent killer, as children do not make any noise when it happens. A child can drown within 30 seconds in as little as four centimetres of water,” Kock said.
He also gave some tips on drowning prevention.
“Always supervise children in or near water and give them undivided attention, even if they know how to swim. Never leave small children unattended in the bath. Ignore the phone or doorbell or take the child with you.”