National 17.7.2017 03:44 pm

Efforts to rescue missing fishermen in Cape St Francis continue

Picture: National Sea Rescue Institute

Picture: National Sea Rescue Institute

Eight crew members are still missing.

Efforts to search for the eight missing fishermen, who were aboard the chokka boat that capsized in Cape St Francis on Sunday, reportedly resumed on Monday afternoon after the rescue teams were given time to resupply.

This is according to a report by the Herald Live.

It was further reported that there was no sign of the missing fishermen after the rescue teams conducted search and rescue operations in the vicinity of the site.

On Sunday evening, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) issued a statement that also said that there remained no sign of the eight fishermen who went missing. This despite extensive searches on the sea, air and shoreline.

The capsized chokka was found hard aground at Sunset Rocks.

“Police divers were able to breach the hull of the boat using cutting tools, but no crew were found inside the hull,” said the NRSI in a statement.
“Police and a Police Dive Unit will continue in an ongoing search and recovery operation. NSRI St Francis Bay remain on alert to assist Police if requested. All involved in the search and rescue operation today are commended for their efforts in extremely rough sea conditions.”
Earlier, the NSRI described how the NSRI St Francis Bay duty crew were activated by Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) following reports of red distress flares reported by chokka fishing vessels at sea off-shore of Thyspoint at 3.30am on Sunday.
“The chokka fishing vessel Silver Eagle had witnessed the red distress flares at around 3am and raised the alarm calling Telkom Maritime Radio Services and MRCC.

“An EPIRB [Emergency Position-Indicating Radio Beacon] had then also been intercepted by MRCC and additional flare sightings were reported.

“Two chokka fishing vessels, Silver Eagle and Megalodon, diverted to investigate and the chokka fishing vessel Maredon was then confirmed to have capsized.

“It appears that Silver Eagle came upon a life-raft and reported that the life-raft had drifted too close into towards the rocks and could not be reached.

“Megalodon reported to have recovered one survivor from the water.”

A sea rescue craft was launched by the NSRI St Francis Bay.

“The SA Police Services, Private Care ambulance services, local security company members, NSRI Jeffreys Bay and NSRI Oyster Bay, EC Government Health EMS, a Police Dive Unit and an NSRI Port Elizabeth NSRI ASR team aboard an SA Air Force 15 Squadron Charlie Flight BK-117 helicopter responded.

“Shore patrols and a sea and air search continued.

“One survivor was transferred from the chokka fishing vessel Megalodon onto the NSRI sea rescue craft Spirit of St Francis II and he was brought to shore and he has been transported to hospital by Private Care ambulance services in a stable condition,” said the NSRI.

“During a search members of the public, including the owner of other chokka fishing boats, and NSRI rescuers, recovered one deceased fisherman on the shore in the vicinity of Sunset Rocks and five survivors were found on the beach at Sunset Rocks.

“The deceased man has been taken into the care of the Forensic Pathology Services.”

There were seven survivors recovered – six of them were hospitalised and reported to be in stable conditions and eight crew who were missing, the NSRI said on Sunday.

The Herald Live spoke to 24-year-old Andane Bobi who, along with other crew members, was being treated for hypothermia at the Humansdorp Provincial Hospital after they were rescued. They were reported to be “anxiously awaiting” any developments on the efforts to rescue the eight other crew members.

Bobi reportedly told the Herald Live that the vessel was “rolling from side to side” and he “grabbed a life jacket and jumped”. He said he was terrified and prayed.

READ MORE: 

One dead, seven rescued, eight missing after fishing boat capsizes

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