Durban – A decomposing body believed to belong to a missing Stanger resident was found floating in the sea by fishermen near Umhlanga main beach this morning.
Pravesh Sooknandun (44) was last seen when he dropped his daughters off at Glenhills Secondary School at around 7.15am on Wednesday.
The next day his car was found at Tinley Manor Beach with his cellphone still inside.
According to Specialised Rescue Unit’s Quentin Power, the body was floating out past back-line near the shark nets.
Umhlanga lifeguards retrieved the body and brought it back to shore in a rubber boat.
Lifeguards first suspected the body may be that of Sooknandun due to the north-south current that has prevailed over the last few days, estimating that he must have entered the ocean on the North Coast some time in the last three days.
A preliminary identification was made through photos circulated of the missing man as well as the clothes he was wearing when his body was found.
The body has since been taken to Pheonix Mortuary where the family will make a final identification.
Sooknandun was a well loved member of the KwaDukuza community whose disappearance prompted an outpouring of support on social media, with many who knew him describing him as a wonderful, peaceful person.
At present, the cause of death is unknown due to the state of decomposition, though it seems unlikely that Sooknandun had gone swimming given that he was still wearing his clothes.
Witnesses at the beach apparently said the body had been damaged by sharks.
Power praised the community for pulling together in the search for Sooknandun, with multiple groups searching and even drones being deployed over the sea.
He urged beachgoers not to visit beaches alone in the early mornings or late afternoons as these are particularly dangerous times both for swimming and in terms of crime.