Tributes are pouring in for the late mother and aunt of former Springbok rugby player Breyton Paulse.
Paulse’s mother, Setta Visagie, and his aunt, Marie Galant, drowned at Old Harbor in Hermanus on Sunday.
A close family friend told TimesLIVE that the two appeared to be taking pictures as they were swept away.
Western Cape Prime Minister Alan Winde sent his heartfelt condolences to the family out. “Our thoughts are with Mr. Paulse and his family at this painful time.”
According to the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI), the bodies of the two sisters, aged 60 and 62, have disappeared from Ceres taken into custody by state forensic pathology services.
NSRI’s Hermanus station commander, Andre Barnard, said her crew was activated after eyewitness accounts reported of two people apparently floating in the water.
“The Rotarian Burnett rescue boat was lowered into the water. NSRI lifeguards, our NSRI rescue vehicle and St Johns Ambulance responded. The Western Cape Government Health EMS [Crew] has been activated. During the response, further calls came in from two women who were washed off the old harbor wall by waves,” he said.
Arriving at the scene, just offshore from the old port of Hermanus, two were killed adult females located and rescued onto the NSRI lifeboat. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) efforts began and the two were also taken to the NSRI ambulance where paramedics continued CPR.
“Sadly, after all efforts to resuscitate the two women had been exhausted were declared deceased by paramedics. The SA police service has been activated and an investigation file has been opened,” said Barnard.
Taking social media, South Africans offer their condolences to Paulse and his family.
This is the third drowning tragedy reported that has plagued the Springboks community in recent months. Former coach Peter de Villiers lost his wife Theresa in a swimming pool accident in April and Jannie du Plessis’ one-year-old son Jan Nataniel drowned in the family pool in November.