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Two drown at birthday party

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The two deceased drowned in the river at the Broadwater Resort while attending a birthday celebration.

A TWENTY-FIRST birthday party at a popular resort outside Douglas turned into a tragedy after two people, including a nine-year-old boy, drowned in the Vaal River on Saturday.

Levert George, 9, and Andrew van Wyk, 22, both from Prieska, drowned in the river at the Broadwater Resort while attending a birthday celebration.

George was a pupil at the RD Williams Primary School while Van Wyk, who matriculated lasy year, worked at a mine.

According to George’s mother, Jenny George, they were attending a birthday celebration at the resort with family and friends when the incident occured.

She yesterday said that her son had apparently slipped and fell into the river after spotting a duck in the water and going after it. The incident happened at about 4pm on Saturday afternoon.

After several children, who saw George going into the river, alerted members of the party about the incident, they went to the place where he was last seen to tried and find him.

However, the river bank was extremely slippery, resulting in at least four more people, including Van Wyk, falling in.

Revellers at the resort also jumped into the river to assist in the rescue mission. Van Wyk was only found at around 6 pm. While he was unconscious, CPR was administered and he regained consciousness. However, he died soon after being admitted to the Douglas Hospital.

The search for George continued into the night and his body was only retrieved by police divers at around 8.30pm.

Owner of the Broadwater Resort, Theuns Engelbrecht, yesterday expressed his sympathy to the family of the deceased following the “regrettable incident”, but indicated that while the function was held at the Broadwater Resort, the drownings occurred at a neighbouring private property, to which the children gained access.

Police spokesperson, Captain Olebogeng Tawana, confirmed that the Douglas police had registered an inquest docket after a nine-year-old boy and 22-year-old man drowned in the Vaal River.