Stricken trawler being towed to Cape Town

2015-09-28 13:58

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Cape Town – A fishing trawler which took on water in rough seas was being towed to Cape Town, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) said on Monday.

The MFV Limcoln, owned by the Viking Fishing Group, was being towed by a sister ship, said NSRI spokesperson Craig Lambinon.

"They are hoping to tow it to the Port of Table Bay (Cape Town harbour), but we’re not sure if they are going to make it that far," he said.

He confirmed nine fishermen died, nine were rescued and three remained missing after the crew abandoned the trawler on Sunday night.

The survivors were later released from hospital.

Lambinon said four fishing vessels were looking for the missing men.

Jared Blows, spokesperson for the SA Maritime Safety Authority (Samsa) rescue co-ordination centre, said the vessel was being towed very slowly and would likely only arrive on Tuesday.

"It's a fairly serious and unusual incident. We don't normally have these types of incidents off our coast," Blows said.

He said the last incident he could think of that involved a fishing trawler and similar number of fatalities was in 2008.

Samsa surveyors and investigators met the survivors as they were brought back to land.

Lambinon said the 42m trawler reportedly took on water in heavy swells 20 nautical miles south of Hangklip.

"On arrival on the scene it was confirmed that all 21 crew of the casualty fishing trawler had abandoned their vessel," Lambinon said.

"Sea conditions were 6m swells with gusting to 45-knot south-easterly winds, but sea conditions improved during the search and rescue operation."

An SA Air Force helicopter and nearby vessels continued the search on Monday.

Read more on:    nsri  |  cape town  |  maritime

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