Four people, rather than seven, are believed to be missing after being stranded on an island in the Umzinto River, near Durban, by rising water, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) said on Tuesday.
Spokesman Craig Lambinon said that on Monday evening an eyewitness reported that six children and an adult were on the island.
However, on Tuesday morning, police told the NSRI four people were believed to be on the island. It was not known if any were children. It was believed that no one had officially been reported missing.
"It was impossible to get there last night...," Lambinon said. This was because of severe weather conditions.
Police tried to reach the island by helicopter on Tuesday morning, but the conditions remained "extremely difficult".
The NSRI had not been tasked with continuing the search at this stage.
Heavy rains in the area caused the deaths of three children when two shacks collapsed, eThekwini metro police said.
Two of the children died at Bayview informal settlement and one in Clairmont.
Netcare911 spokesman Chris Botha said that nine homeless people were rescued from the flooded Umbilo River in Durban on Tuesday morning.- SAPA