Paddler dies at Emmarentia Dam

Wednesday, 19 April 2006 11:03 | Written by
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Johannesburg – Canoeing South Africa has confirmed the death of surfskier Peter Sherwen, who drowned in an accident at Emmarentia Dam during a time trial on Sunday morning.


Sherwen, who was 52, was a regular participant in the Sunday morning Dabulamanzi club time trial. He fell off his surf ski during the time trial, and according to paddlers that were on the scene within seconds, he disappeared from view almost immediately. Within a minute, a massive search effort was staged by the scores of fellow canoeists who were taking part in the time trial, diving repeatedly to try and locate him, to no avail. Emergency services were quickly on the scene, including divers from the Fire Department, and the Johannesburg Water Wing.


The SAPS divers co-ordinated the recovery effort, and retrieved Sherwyn’s body from the dam shortly after 3pm on Sunday afternoon. A full autopsy will be conducted this week to establish the cause of death. Sherwen was a registered Dabulamanzi member, and a fit and competent paddler who had been active as a canoeist and ski paddler at Emmarentia for more than two years. His craft was perfectly functional, and as a proficient registered paddler, he was not wearing a life-jacket while taking part in the routine time-trial, which is in line with the national regulations.


”Our hearts go out to his wife Cathy, and his three children,” said Canoeing South Africa’s President Tim Cornish. “It is a terrible tragedy to have to come to terms with. I am also very grateful to the scores of paddlers that went to extraordinary lengths to try and locate him after he had fallen into the dam,” he added. For any further information, please call: Dave Macleod Media Officer - Canoeing South Africa 083 222 5443. Source -

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