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“Elands Falls claims another life”

2014 got off to a bad start at the Elands river waterfall in Waterval Boven with the falls claiming yet another life. These well-known falls at the edge of the escarpment have over the years, been the scene of numerous suicides. Local residents will attest to the fact that the infamous site, with its sheer drop of over 70m., claims, on average, five lives every year.

On the afternoon of Sunday 6 January, seven friends from nearby Boven decided that they would descend to the bottom of the falls for a picnic and a swim. The young men – Arnoux Van Wyk, Jaco Horn, Stephan v.d. Merwe, Robbie Broodryk, Tian Els and brothers Levaan & Mario Smit – soon arrived at the pool at the base of the falls and, after the long, hot descent, were ready for a refreshing dip. It was not to be, however, because just as they were about to enter the water, they noticed a body partially submerged in the water near some rocks. Due to the nature of the obvious injuries to the body, it was clear that the unfortunate victim had fallen to his death from the cliffs above. Quickly deducing what had happened, the boys alerted the Boven SAPS who took control of the scene and summoned the SAPS Airwing and divers to recover the body. It has been estimated that the badly decomposed body had been in the water for almost two weeks. At time of going to print, the unfortunate victim had still not been formally identified.

An unknown person, present at the scene during the retrieval of the victim’s body via helicopter, recorded the event on a helmet-mounted Go-Pro camera. The footage may be viewed at:

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