Postmortems on newlyweds to take place in South Africa

John and Lynette Rodgers from Co Down drowned after becoming caught in a rip-tide in Plettenberg Bay

John and Lynette Rodgers, from Holywood in Co Down, are understood to have drowned while visiting Plettenberg Bay as part of their honeymoon. Photograph: Caroline Smyth Photography/PA Wire.

John and Lynette Rodgers, from Holywood in Co Down, are understood to have drowned while visiting Plettenberg Bay as part of their honeymoon. Photograph: Caroline Smyth Photography/PA Wire.

 

Postmortems on the remains of a newly-wed couple from Northern Ireland who drowned on Friday while on honeymoon in South Africa are expected to take place in the coming days.

John Rodgers (28), an office worker from Ballygowan, Co Down and his wife Lynette (26) died after it is believed they became caught in a rip-tide off Robberg beach in Plettenberg Bay in the Western Cape Province.

The accident happened just six days after the couple were married at the First Presbyterian Church in Holywood, Co Down.

Captain Malcolm Pojie from George Police Station, who is overseeing the investigation into the incident, said it appeared what happened was a tragic accident.

“There is no evidence of foul play. The couple went to the beach for a swim shortly after checking into their accommodation and it appears they were caught in a rip-tide. Their remains were spotted in shallow waters by passers-by,” he said.

The body of Mr Rodgers was discovered by a local man in shallow surf on Robberg Beach around 6pm last Friday, according to South Africa’s National Sea Rescue Institute.

His wife’s body was found about 200 metres away. Doctors tried to resuscitate the couple but they were pronounced dead at the scene.

The British Foreign Office is providing assistance to both families “at this extremely difficult time, and will remain in contact with local authorities”.

Robberg Beach is a well-known strand in the area that stretches for a couple of kilometres. It is popular amongst walkers, sunbathers and swimmers, although treacherous sea conditions are common outside of the summer season.

Captain Malcolm Pojie confirmed that local authorities were working with the British consulate in South Africa to try and have the remains of the two deceased repatriated to Northern Ireland as soon as possible.