Relentless search for drowning victims continues in Henties Bay

Niël Terblanché

The coastal town of Henties Bay remains in mourning as the relentless search for the bodies of two young girls who tragically drowned in the Atlantic Ocean on Friday continues.

The community has come together to support the search efforts, determined to bring closure to the grieving families.

The heart-wrenching incident unfolded three days ago on a popular Henties Bay beach.

The two young girls, identified as Hilia Rashmie and Mary-Anne Mimie Mbok, aged 10 and 11, were swept away by powerful waves while playing with a group of friends along the shoreline.

Inspector Illeni Shapumba, the head of the Namibian Police’s Community Affairs Division in the Erongo Region, provided details of the tragedy. He explained that the incident occurred between 14:00 and 15:00 on Friday when the girls found themselves in distress while playing in the shallows near the beach.

Since the alarm was raised about their disappearance beneath the waves three days ago, dedicated police officers and divers from the Namibian Navy have been tirelessly searching for any signs of the missing girls.

Despite their unwavering efforts, the divers faced challenging conditions, including rough seas and strong tidal currents.

The search for the two girls has received additional support from the Namibia Marshal Rangers, who have deployed their rescue boats to aid in the search efforts.

In a display of unity and solidarity, members of the community have also joined the search, scouring the beaches to the north of the place where the tragedy occurred in the hope of finding the two young girls.

Inspector Shapumba conveyed the condolences of the Namibian Police to the grieving families and the community of Henties Bay.

He stressed the importance of caution when it comes to beach activities, particularly during rough sea conditions.

“We wish not to use the incident to make a point, but we must call upon the community to exercise caution. We discourage swimming, particularly when the sea is rough. People should swim at designated places or under the supervision of lifeguards,” Shapumba urged.

He stressed the significance of families and friends looking out for one another, especially in situations where individuals may be tempted to swim after consuming alcohol.

Shapumba strongly urged that children should only be allowed to visit the beach under the close supervision of responsible adults or parents.

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