Newlyweds Drown While Swimming On Their Honeymoon

    The couple from Northern Ireland were found at Plettenberg Bay in South Africa.

    A Northern Irish couple drowned at a beach in South Africa on Friday while they were on their honeymoon.

    Lynnette and John Rodgers from County Down were swimming at Plettenberg Bay in the Western Cape of South Africa on Friday in what authorities described as "rough" conditions with a strong rip-current, the BBC reported.

    Efforts were made to resuscitate the couple, who were in their twenties, after they were found on the beach by a local man, but they were declared dead at the scene.

    Craig Lambinon, a spokesperson for National Sea Rescue in South Africa, offered condolences to the Rodgerses' families. "They were both found on the beach by bystanders. It's suspected that they had gone for a swim shortly after arriving in Plettenberg Bay for a holiday. They're both British citizens," he said.

    In a joint statement to Sky News, both Lynnette and John's families said that news of the events came as a "great shock".

    "Our happiness in sharing their recent wedding has been thoroughly devastated. Both were very dearly loved and brought us great joy," the families said.

    Very sad to hear the tragic news of young Co.Down couple who were drowned whilst on honeymoon in South Africa.My sympathy to their families.

    Gordon Dunne, a member of Ireland's Democratic Union Party who knew the Rodgerses, said on Twitter that his "thoughts and prayers [were] with the family".

    "For a tragedy like this to happen days after their wedding during their honeymoon is beyond words," Dunne added in a statement.

    "There is widespread shock and a real sense of numbness within the local community in Holywood at this time, particularly as the young lady was born in Holywood, attended the local schools in the area, and was from a very well respected family," Dunne said.

    Writing on Twitter, deputy first minister of Northern Ireland Martin McGuinness also expressed his sympathies, describing their deaths as "tragic".

    The UK Foreign Office said it was providing assistance to both families.


    Lynnette and John Rodgers were Northern Irish. A previous version of this article said they were British.