Hero skipper's snap decision saves crew of sinking vessel

2015-10-28 15:53
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Durban - An Arniston fishing boat skipper told of the life or death choice he had to make while braving rough seas to rescue the crew of another vessel on Monday.   

Marius Farao, who had steered his craft, the Timothy, to the aid of stricken fishing boat Agulhas, told News24 it was "a frightening day".

The Agulhas had suffered engine failure and was without power.

Farao halted the Timothy near the Agulhas, waiting for another boat that had enough power to tow her to port.

That vessel, the Mrs H, arrived minutes later and with a towline affixed, they began the long haul back to Arniston Harbour.

But fate intervened and a huge wave broke over the Mrs H, causing it to start taking on water.

"I was behind them and the waves were so big. I watched the wave crash over the boat and it began to sag and that is when I knew it was sinking," he said.

"At that moment I had to make a choice: Do I go to the Mrs H which was in trouble or to the Agulhas which was also in danger?" Farao recalled.

With the lives of his own crew in danger, he braved the undulating swells and drew alongside the sinking Mrs H, and managed to get its crew and skipper aboard safely.

"I had to think about all of the lives on my boat. The Agulhas was still floating and we knew that help was coming."

Fortunately, a speed boat arrived to rescue the crew from Agulhas before it ran aground, he said.

The crew from the Mrs H also arrived safely on shore, but their boat sank.

Read more on:    cape town  |  search and rescue

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