GRASSY PARK – A Grassy Park family remains hopeful that the body of Muhammad Nur Mitchell resurfaces. This is after days of searching at sea.
The 32-year-old diver went missing on Sunday at Saunders rocks in Bantry Bay after he went diving with his brother. It was reported he ran into difficulty while trying to exit the water in rough seas.
Despite an extensive sea, air and shoreline search no sign has been found of Mitchell, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) said.
NSRI Bakoven deputy station commander Luke van Riet said duty crew were activated by the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) at about 11.20am following reports of a diver missing following a dive with his brother at Bantry Bay.
“It appeared that while the brothers were exiting the water after a dive in rough sea conditions, the missing man’s brother was able to get out of the surf on to rocks, but his brother, a 32-year-old man from Grassy Park, went missing and bystanders raised the alarm,” he said.
“An extensive search revealed no sign of the missing man and the EMS/AMS Skymed rescue helicopter responded to assist in the search, but despite the extensive sea, air, and shoreline search operation no sign of the man has been found. A police dive unit will continue with a search operation. Family are being assisted by police and police have opened an investigation,” Van Riet said.
Emotions were high as the Mitchell family and friends descended on the beach hoping his body would emerge from the water.
“On Sunday afternoon, rescue divers found his flippers and caught a glimpse of what could have been his black wetsuit floating, but this proved futile. The strong current and huge sea swells had made it difficult for the search team to continue,” said Muhammad Nur’s brother, Sabri Mitchell.
He said his brother had a love for the ocean.
“He was a good swimmer and has been doing the diving thing for some time. Nur’s wife and his two young children have been left devastated and are being assisted by authorities,” he said.
Police are investigating the incident. For now, the family are clinging on to the hope that Nur’s body will be recovered, so he can be laid to rest.
PHOTO: The search for the missing diver at Sea Cliff, Bantry Bay, continues. Picture: Leon Knipe