Plettenberg Bay
South Africa's Plettenberg Bay is a popular tourist resort. Wikimedia Commons

A young British couple drowned on a South African beach on Friday (23 October). The 28-year-old man and 26-year-old woman, who were from Northern Ireland, were found in shallow surf at the popular tourist resort of Plettenberg Bay.

A local man raised the alarm at around 18:00 (local time) after he discovered the man's body on Robberg Beach, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) said. Two women walking along the beach found the woman's body 200m away. Extensive CPR efforts were made to resuscitate the pair but they were both declared dead at the scene, the NSRI added.

NSRI spokesperson Craig Lambinon said the circumstances of the tragedy remain unclear, but it is believed the couple had gone for a swim shortly after arriving at the resort. "Sea conditions were rough with strong rip-currents in the vicinity" he said. "Police have opened an inquest docket and although no foul play is suspected the deaths are being investigated."

The UK Foreign Office confirmed the deaths of two British nationals. "We are providing assistance to both families at this extremely difficult time, and will remain in contact with local authorities," a spokesperson said.