Ship aground near Richards Bay

2013-08-19 20:22
Smart cracking in the middle. (Daryl Visser Photography)

Smart cracking in the middle. (Daryl Visser Photography)

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Cape Town – Twenty-three people were rescued after their ship ran aground off Richards Bay on Monday.

Craig Lambinon, NSRI spokesperson, said a NSRI rescue team was dispatched to assist three Transnet National Ports Authority tug boats, in attendance at a coal cargo ship, Smart, which had reportedly hit a shallow sand bank.

“The tug boats were attempting to pull the vessel free of the sand bank after she appears to have, in very rough seas of 10m swells, been pushed onto a sand bank while exiting Port to go to sea.”

Lambinon said the NSRI dispatched their sea rescue craft and helicopter rescue unit to the scene, after the structural integrity of the ship was compromised and the captain ordered his ship to be abandoned.

“The rescue swimmer [aboard the helicopter] was hoisted onto the ship and assisted crew, using under arm hoist, into the helicopter and all 23 crew of the ship were hoisted into the helicopter in relays,” he said.

Netcare 911 spokesperson, Chris Botha, said the paramedics on shore examined the people airlifted off the ship.

“Although they were shaken they had sustained no injuries during the ordeal.”

The South African Maritime Safety Authority is en route to investigate and begin evaluations to save the ship.

Daryl Visser took a series of pictures of the unfolding events.

Read more on:    netcare 911  |  nsri  |  durban  |  maritime

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