MOSSEL BAY NEWS - Of all the incidents responded to in and around Mossel Bay during the festive season, there was only one drowning recorded.
The KwaNonqaba Police confirmed the death of a 61-year-old Swedish tourist, who drowned at Oyster Bay on Thursday, 19 December.
"The woman was swept out by a rip current. Despite all efforts, she could not be saved. The KwaNonqaba Police have opened an inquest docket following the incident," said Sgt Kapp, spokesperson of the KwaNonqaba Police.
Strong and healthy
The Mossel Bay Advertiser made contact with Lars Järner, whose wife, Maud, drowned.
Lars was travelling back to Sweden this week when he offered to write a tribute to his wife in between flights back home.
"It feels quite strange to write this but my wife is worth every nice word in the world, so why not," he responded from OR Tambo International Airport during his stopover on Tuesday this week. Maud was born in 1958 in the small village, Vansbro, in the middle of Sweden. Vansbro is famous in Sweden for its annual 3km river swimming race. It is known that the river water is only 16 to 18 degrees Celsius. "You have to swim against a strong current for the last 1km. Maud was a very good swimmer and competed in the race 10 times. The first time she entered she was only 11 years old," Lars explains. He describes his wife as having been "a very extraordinary, strong and healthy woman". The couple came to South Africa for the first time in 2002. "After a few vacation trips we decided to find something in Mossel Bay to come back to." They fell in love with "the size of the city, the nice climate, the friendly people and the wonderful site of Pinnacle Point". They bought their first holiday house at Pinnacle Point in November 2005. In March 2006, they moved in, six months before the official opening of the golf course. In 2014 they built their dream home at Pinnacle Point right on the cliffs of the ocean, very close to the clubhouse. During 2016, they sold their IT business in Sweden and retired from work. "We planned to stay longer periods in Mossel Bay. At work Maud was doing accounting, human relations and customer support in accounting." Maud had an eye for interior decorating and was a keen golfer, with a 16 handicap. She played in the Pinnacle Point ladies' team. In Sweden, she won the club championships for ladies more than once, Lars confirms. "Maud was also a true nature lover. She recently climbed the highest mountain in Sweden, the Kebenekajse, 2 200m high."
"On the day of the accident we went to the Oyster Bay beach as we had many times before. We were only planning a short dip before returning home. The beach that day was completely different from usual. The long, shallow beach was now much shorter and Maud was caught in deep water. The current dragged her out and I could find no life saving equipment on site to help her. No one can survive in the deep water with currents and breaks at Oyster Bay. It was a nightmare to see this happen and not be able to help her," he recounts. Maud has two children and four grandchildren, all residing in Sweden.
"Maud was a stunning woman with a warm heart, loved by everyone. She had the most fantastic smile you will ever find. And I miss her more than you ever can understand," Lars concludes.
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