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Tuesday, April 16, 2024

SAPS heaps praise K9 search and rescue team deployed in Türkiye for rescuing victims

Cape Town – The National Commissioner of the South African Police Service (SAPS), General Fannie Masemola has praised the K-9 Search and Rescue (SAR) team deployed to Türkiye for their role in search and recovery efforts.

This comes after the team consisting of five K-9 dogs and their handlers for the past week has led numerous search operations for survivors and to recover the bodies of deceased victims.

The Gift of the Givers rescue team is collaborating with the Omani rescue team to search for survivors trapped beneath the rubble after the earthquake in Hatay, Türkiye. Picture: Gift of the Givers

Masemola said that the SAPS K-9 search and rescue dogs are trained and used to search for missing persons and recover dead bodies.

They travelled to the country with the Gift of the Givers.

“They also detect human scent, remains and are able to find victims of floods and collapsed buildings,”

“Among the successes achieved by the team is the recovery of an 80-year-old elderly woman who was found alive in a collapsed building,” Masemola he said.

Masemola further added that the team are the epitome of pockets of excellence that exist in the organisation.

“The team has been hard at work, searching and locating victims where excavators and rescuers would take over recover victims.

“We are happy to hear that our role yielded significant results and we were able to provide closure to the people of Türkiye.

“On behalf of the SAPS, I would like to pay gratitude to the team who have displayed commitment and dedication to the cause of serving,” Masemola said.

The team are set to arrive back in South Africa on Saturday.

He commended the following members who have represented the SAPS and South Africa with great pride:

  • Team leader Brigadier Vimla Moodley, provincial head in the Eastern Cape for Police Emergency Services (PES).
  • Warrant Officer Tinalia Gouws is a K-9 search and rescue handler attached to the Lydenberg K-9 unit in Mpumalanga.
  • Warrant Officer Martin Bann is a K-9 search and rescue handler attached to the Benoni K-9 unit in Gauteng.
  • Warrant Officer Keagan Naidoo is a K-9 search and rescue handler attached to the Joburg K-9 unit in Gauteng.
  • Warrant Officer Len Willemse is a K-9 search and rescue handler attached to the Pretoria K-9 unit in Gauteng.
  • Sergeant Jennifer Seleka is a K-9 search and rescue handler attached to the Mahikeng K-9 search and rescue unit in North West.

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