Police search and rescue teams have located the bodies of three fishermen who drowned after a hippo attacked and capsized their raft at Jozini Dam in northern KwaZulu-Natal on Wednesday.
The SAPS unit responded after reports of the attack but despite scouring the dam, were unable to find the missing men.
“The incident occurred on Wednesday at about 4pm when three fishermen were placing their gill nets whilst utilising a homemade raft,” the police said.
A search and rescue unit from Empangeni assisted SAPS members from Richards Bay in the search on the dam.
Sources with knowledge of the incident told TimesLIVE that the three men had been placing illegal gill nets in the dam when a hippo attacked their raft.
The men are believed to have abandoned their raft but drowned while trying to reach the shore, which was a distance away.
Members of SAPS’ search and rescue (SAR) were unable to dive due to the dangers posed by hippos in the water.
Vehicle patrols were conducted on Thursday and Friday until the bodies surfaced on Saturday and were recovered.
According to sources, the bodies were completely intact, having sustained no bite marks from hippos or crocodiles.
An inquest docket has been opened.