Identities of fishermen lost in trawler tragedy released

2015-10-02 16:03
John Diedericks, one of the fishermen who died in a trawler tragedy at the weekend. (Picture: Supplied)

John Diedericks, one of the fishermen who died in a trawler tragedy at the weekend. (Picture: Supplied)

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Cape Town – The identities of the 12 fishermen who died after abandoning their trawler during a storm at the weekend have been released.

“The sad task of identifying the bodies by family members has been completed and the company is in the process of having the bodies collected by undertakers,” Viking Fishing financial director Rory Williams said on Friday.

The 21-man crew had to abandon the MFV Lincoln trawler, operated by Viking Fishing, after it took on water and apparently keeled over in rough sea conditions 35 nautical miles south east of Cape Point on Sunday night.

Nearby vessels rescued nine men. Two bodies were recovered, but were then lost to the ocean when they slipped out of their life jackets into the sea. A third body was never retrieved.

Williams said the company would cover the cost of all funerals.

It would then liaise with the families after the funerals to conduct an appropriate memorial service.

A date for the service had not yet been finalised.

The South African Maritime Safety Authority was interviewing survivors, as well as skippers of the rescue vessels, said Williams.

Ministry visit

Company executives briefed and updated fisheries minister Senzeni Zokwana when he visited them in Cape Town on Thursday.

“Of great interest to the minister was what... the industry [could] glean and learn from such a natural disaster... so as to be better prepared in future.”

Zokwana on Friday expressed concern over safety in the fishing industry.

''Our hearts go [out] to those families and hope with time they will heal,” he said via video link to parliament.

The nine identified bodies belong to:

- Cornelius Frederick van Neel, 56, from Delft

- Bernard Thys, 53, from Lentegeur

- Jacobus Juries, 44, from Van Wyk’s Vlei

- Deswal John Mahala, 35, from Tulbach

- Betrus Roy Mitas, 26, from Delft

- Derrick van der Heever, 39, from Van Wyk’s Vlei

- George Daniels, 31, from Elsenberg

- Ashwin Harding, 22, from Delft

- Taurig Martin, 41, from Mitchells Plain

The three men lost at sea and presumed drowned:

- Peter Maroon, 59, from Morgenster

- John Diedericks, 42, from Van Wyk’s Vlei

- William George Adonis, 44, from Valhalla Park

Read more on:    senzeni zokwana  |  cape town  |  maritime

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