An 11-year-old girl from Hartbeespoort lost her arm during a freak boat accident on the Hartbeespoort Dam on Saturday afternoon. The girl and her family were thrown out of the boat when it hit a submerged tree stump.
Clarissa van Staden, a Generaal Hendrik Schoeman Primary School pupil’s arm was caught by the boat propeller and severed.
Hartbeespoort family, René and JJ van Staden and their two children, Clarissa, Juvan (5) and a friend (11) were on the boat when it hit the submerged tree stump shortly before 15:00. Everyone, except Juvan, were thrown from the boat.
“When the NSRI arrived on the scene, all five persons were on a casualty boat. NSRI medics initiated medical treatment to the girl and the father, mother, son and friend were transferred onto the NSRI rescue craft and taken ashore. They were not injured,” said Arthur Crewe of the NSRI.
Hartbeespoort Emergency Medical service paramedics stabilised Clarissa on the scene before she was airlifted by a Netcare 911 Aeromedical helicopter to a hospital in Johannesburg for specialised treatment.
“Clarissa is currently in a stable condition in the intensive care unit,“ said Johan van Wyk, a family member. “The whole family is very traumatised and we request members of the community and public to currently respect their privacy. We will keep the community updated,” he said.
“The NSRI commends the swift response of our NSRI Hartbeespoort Dam rescue crew, SRU (Strategic Response Unit), HEMS Emergency Medical Services and the Netcare 911 Aeromedical helicopter to this call,” the NSRI said in a statement.