Poachers the heroes of Hout Bay tragedy

2012-10-15 08:36
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Hout Bay boat capsizes

Two people have died after a charter boat capsized neat Duiker Island off Cape Town’s Hout Bay coast over the weekend. See all the pictures.

Cape Town - More people would have died in the tourist boat tragedy that took place in Hout Bay over the weekend had it not been for the quick thinking and help of a nearby group of poachers diving for crayfish.

“Whether people are going to acknowledge it or not, if it hadn’t been for the poachers, more people would have drowned,” said Sean Amor, skipper of the Extravagance, who also came to help passengers of the capsized charter boat Miroshga, reported Die Burger.

The group of nine poachers were believed to have rescued about 18 people from freezing water at Seal Island.  

Their boat was close by and they saw the emergency flares and rushed over to help.

“We are children of Hangberg, and have been taught where there is need we have to help,” said Kyle Cairns, one of the divers.

 “There were people everywhere in the water - grownups and children.”

They jumped into the water and swam to the accident scene, pulling people one by one from the water and the hull of the boat and to the safety of their rubber dingy.  

“I couldn’t let the man’s body sink to the bottom. It was a big man and perhaps someone’s father. It could’ve been my own father,” said one diver about bringing out the body of the only person to have died in the tragedy.  

The divers were angry that rescued divers and police divers stopped them from helping with the rescue mission once they arrived on the scene, saying people would have been rescued faster.

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