The Dusi Canoe Marathon has confirmed that 57-year-old paddler Heine Jordaan died while competing in Friday’s second stage of the 2015 Dusi Canoe Marathon.
Jordaan, a Durban dentist, started the second stage in G batch with experienced fellow Stella Canoe Club paddler Neels Meyer at 07h55 before getting into difficulty at a rapid near Big Bend Rapid, about seven kilometres from the headwater of Inanda Dam.
Jordaan and Meyer’s boat hit a rock and the pair got into difficulty. Meyer managed to get out of their boat however Jordaan became entrapped and was forced under water for approximately three minutes.
Paddlers rallied together and did everything possible to assist Jordaan, and assisted Meyer to extract Jordaan from the river and notified a paramedic just downstream of the incident.
One of the paddlers who stopped to help managed to attract the attention of a safety helicopter that Dusi General Manager Brett Austen Smith was traveling in.
The terrain made landing the safety helicopter impossible and a second, smaller helicopter was dispatched, together with the race medical helicopter carrying the race doctor.
Jordaan’s family were notified of the incident.
“This is a tragedy that has shaken the Dusi to the core,” said Austen Smith, who thanked the race participants who stopped to assist.
The Dusi Canoe Marathon race organisers send their sincere condolences to Jordaan’s family, friends and Meyer and ask the paddling fraternity to join them in offering their full support to Jordaan’s loved ones during this time.