A freak riptide pulled 21 people into the sea at Port Elizabeth a week ago (AFP/File, Gianluigi Guercia)

JOHANNESBURG — The body of the last of six amateur rugby players who drowned last weekend has been recovered, as mourners began burying the dead in the southern city of Port Elizabeth, local media said Sunday.


The announcement that 29-year-old Arthur Peters’s body had been found was made at the funeral Saturday for teammate Masixole Myosana, the Sunday Times newspaper said.

A freak riptide pulled 21 people into the sea at Bluewater Bay beach one week ago, most of them members of the Motherwell Rugby Football Club who had jumped into the water to cool off after a training session.

The navy, air force and the National Sea Rescue Institute spent seven days searching for the bodies of all the six men drowned.

“Standing there, looking on while the lifeguards searched and feeling so helpless, it has to be the worst feeling in the world,” the team’s fly-half Bongani Ngeleza said at the funeral, according to the paper.

“I went to collect their gear and I heard people screaming for lifeguards … They must have been in the water for less than five minutes,” he said.

The team had been training for an Easter weekend tournament in Cape Town.

“There won’t just be 15 players playing. There will be six spirits with us,” team official Mandu Ngqoshana said, according to the paper.

Copyright © 2012 AFP. All rights reserved.

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