A double tragedy occurred on the first day of this year’s canoe marathon on the Great Fish River near Cradock when two men were killed.
Marathon organizers have confirmed that 53-year-old paddler Axel Marggraf of Pretoria died on Friday, October 8, after falling from the K-3 canoe in the Soutpandrift rapid, while Amanzimtoti’s Dean Chiazzari (31) is deceased. of a suspected heart attack after withdrawing from the race.
Col. Priscilla Naidu of the Eastern Cape Police Media Office confirmed the two deaths and said Marggraf died at around 11:15 a.m. on October 8, when their canoe hit several rocks. “The deceased fell from the canoe and drowned,” she said.
She also confirmed that Chiazzari had come out of the water when he indicated that he was not feeling well and went to lie down in his vehicle. He was later found dead and an investigation file was opened.
Fish River Canoe Marathon President Roy Copeman offered his condolences to the families and friends of the two paddlers and said the entire paddling community was shaken by the double tragedy.
“Our security teams and divers, along with a group of assisting volunteers and linebackers at the scene, went to great lengths, risking their lives, to help locate and reach the missing paddler. The response was quick and efficient, but unfortunately they were unable to resuscitate the paddler, ”said Copeman.
He praised the race security staff who responded quickly to both cases and although the response was swift and efficient, they were unable to save