NSRI called upon to tow fishing trawlers off Cape coast

FILE PICTURE: National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) members on a rescue mission. Photo: NSRI

FILE PICTURE: National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) members on a rescue mission. Photo: NSRI

The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) was on Thursday called upon to tow a fishing trawler that was drifting without power and taking on water off Cape Town.

Pat van Eyssen, NSRI Table Bay station commander, said: “At 12.27am, Thursday, September 3, NSRI Table Bay duty crew were activated by the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) reporting the 19 metre-long line fishing trawler ABE SAPIRO, with 19 crew onboard, suffering loss of motor power and taking on water, 29 nautical miles South West of Cape Town.

“Skipper Josie de Freitas, from Bergvliet, reported that they were unable to get the motor started and they were drifting without motor or electrical power and their vessel had started to take water.”

Eyssen said NSRI Table Bay launched the sea rescue craft SPIRIT OF VODACOM, while NSRI Hout Bay were activated and their sea rescue craft NADINE GORDIMER was launched carrying an extra water extrication pump and to provide backup.

“Sea conditions were a 1.5 metre swell in a 20 knot South Easterly wind,” Eyssen said. “While responding to the scene the vessel reported that they had managed to get their water extrication pumps working and while still adrift they were no longer taking in water.

“NSRI Hout Bay continued to respond as backup, at that stage, but once we arrived on-scene, 30 nautical miles South West of Cape Town, and finding all crew safe and after securing a towline to our sea rescue craft SPIRIT OF VODACOM and with the casualty vessel safely under tow NSRI Hout Bay were released to return to base, and we towed the casualty vessel to the Port of Table Bay without incident.”

Eyssen added the long liner had abandoned her long lines at sea and Telkom Maritime Radio Services would broadcast a Maritime Navigational warning until the company could arrange to recover the lines.

“Once the casualty vessel was safely berthed in Port no further assistance was required.” In a separate incident off Hermanus, the NSRI was called out to assist a fishing trawler with four ill crew members on board.

Deon Langenhoven, NSRI Hermanus station commander, said: “At 11am, NSRI Hermanus were placed on alert following a request for medical assistance from the fishing trawler BEATRIS MARINE reporting 4 crew members on board taken ill with suspected gastric illness and needing to be taken off the vessel.

“At that stage they were at deep sea and confirmed that they would be nearing Hermanus later in the afternoon,” he said. “They requested assistance to bring four new crew members out to the vessel to take over from the four ill crew.

“At 4pm, with the assistance of radio communications from Telkom Maritime Radio Services, the vessel confirmed to be nearing Walker Bay and at 5pm NSRI Hermanus duty crew launched the sea rescue craft SOUTH STAR, accompanied by 4 fishermen who would be transferred onto the trawler, and we rendezvoused with BEATRIS MARINE 4 nautical miles off-shore of Danger Point and the 4 ill crew were taken aboard our sea rescue craft and the 4 fresh crew were transferred aboard the trawler.

“The 4 ill crew members, all in stable conditions, all from Cape Town, were brought safely to Hermanus Harbour without incident and they will make their own arrangements to see a doctor and no further assistance was required.”


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