Tragedy struck on Saturday after a 22-year-old man drowned after rescuing his friend from drowning in a dam in Kamesh near Uitenhage in the Eastern Cape.

According to police spokesperson Colonel Priscilla Naidu, the two friends were swimming in the dam in Lapland between 11:00 and 13:15.

Lewellan van Rooyen, 22, and a friend, 16, were swimming in the dam when both of them got tired. The teenager screamed for help and Van Rooyen helped him to get to safety. When the teenager turned around, he saw his friend going under water.

Police divers retrieved his body. An inquest docket was opened.

Naidu said “Police are urging people not to swim in dams and rivers as it is very dangerous, especially if people are not good swimmers. It has been noticed that there is an increase in the number of drownings.

“Children and teenagers are going to the beach and swimming in areas where there are no lifeguards.

She added that “Most of the drowning victims cannot swim and there [is] no adult supervision at the beaches or dams”.