A nine-year-old KwaZulu-Natal boy has been presumed to have drowned while swimming with his friends in a river in Oguni.

According to Reaction Unit South Africa, residents contacted them requesting assistance at about 20:29, and upon arrival, they met with the family of the little boy.

“They explained that the boy was swimming with friends at approximately 14:00 when he [the boy] attempted to retrieve a five-liter plastic gallon, which they used as a floatation device,” said RUSA.

Read Also: Body of a baby discovered floating in a river.

Boy drowned after he disappeared in the water?

The search continues for a 9 year old boy who is presumed to have drowned in a river

The search for the boy continues as the first attempt proved unsuccessful. (image: RUSA)

It is believed that at some point, the boy experienced some difficulty and disappeared underwater, and his friends allegedly fled the scene together.

Other children playing in the vicinity witnessed the incident.

“They entered the river and searched for the body without success,” said RUSA spokesperson Prem Barlim.

According to reports, the Umhlali SAPS K9 Unit and rescue technicians from a private ambulance service are said to have conducted an underwater search for the boy without success.

The search is set to resume at first light.

This is a developing story.