3 fishermen found alive after drifting at sea near Veldrift

2015-12-02 11:00
NSRI helicopter. (Supplied, NSRI)

NSRI helicopter. (Supplied, NSRI)

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Cape Town - Three fishermen were found alive after drifting at sea for several hours in the early hours of Tuesday morning when their boat experienced engine problems.

National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) and South African Police Service members were deployed when concerned family members of the fishermen contacted them after midnight.

The men disappeared offshore between Veldrift and Elands Bay while crayfishing.

However, they did not return to the shore when their family members were expecting them. The search and rescue operation was started in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

“The three fishermen, from Paternoster, on a 5m crayfish dinghy, had launched at Paternoster to go crayfishing and eventually, during the early hours of the morning, they were reached by family members via cellphone.

“They reported to be lost with motor failure and although they were safe on their boat, they were adrift at sea,” the NSRI said in a statement.

The men could not pinpoint where they were.

“As the search progressed without result the Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC) authorised an SA Air Force 22 Squadron Oryx helicopter accompanied by NSRI ASR rescue swimmers which joined in the search.”

The boat was located about 11.8km offshore from Veldrift by the helicopter crew.

The three men, a 24-year-old skipper and his two 26-year-old crewmen, were hoisted into the helicopter and airlifted to shore. Afterwards they were transported by the NSRI to Paternoster where they were reunited with their relieved families.

No injuries were reported.

Read more on:    nsri  |  cape town  |  search and rescue  |  maritime

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