Poachers the heroes of Hout Bay tragedy

2012-10-15 08:36

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.

  • ruan.smith.14 - 2012-10-15 08:46

    interesting spin, but there still shouldnt be poachers!! They are still the greater evil!!

      jason.sole.92 - 2012-10-15 09:01

      I agree completely.

      gieljam.gomtor - 2012-10-15 09:27

      No one can deny that they were hero's but why having had to mention that they were poachers ? I think it was used as a ploy to glorify a scourge.

      kyle.berry.90857 - 2012-10-15 09:33

      spot on Ruan, people are in abundance, crayfish are not, we think we are better than these animals, crayfish poachers, rhino horn poachers, all the same in my eyes.

      kobie.nel1 - 2012-10-15 09:42

      I'm seriously against poaching in all forms. But in this case I'd vote for turning a blind eye for and hour or two, and then just don't talk about it again, or in private with those involved. To the poachers, you are a lot of criminal a...s holes, but thumbs up and thanks for your quick and decisive action.

      davidquestioner - 2012-10-15 10:07

      Criminals doing a good deed does not stop them from being criminals. Lock them up!

      muller791 - 2012-10-15 10:15

      WTF is up with you this people just saved the lives of 18 people that all could have died, get a grip and grow a back bone!!!!

      yrhonour.honour - 2012-10-15 10:24

      So you want us to condone poaching with that pathetic sympathy for crime driven headline - wake up News24

      ronald.stilianou - 2012-10-15 11:09

      The greater evil????? as opposed to innocent human death? you're an idiot, what if it was your child in that water?

      stephan.henning.96 - 2012-10-15 11:20

      Actually there are more crayfish worldwide today then a 100 years ago, we have over fished certain fish species that feed on Crustaceans hence their overpopulation, the insects of the sea will always survive.

      pwcrook - 2012-10-15 12:03

      Not sure if they're the greater evil... but I do believe that it was an opportunistic thing of major good borne out of a planned 'minor' evil...

      claudine.b.shiels - 2012-10-15 12:07

      Kyle.Berry. "spot on Ruan, people are in abundance, crayfish are not...." I had to read this several times to make sure my eyes were not deceiving me! So, let's not worry about people who die, there are plenty more left? And this Ruan-person? "Poachers are still the greater evil." Greater evil than what evil....? What does this even mean? Are these people getting the right amount of vitamins and nutrients? Are people so devoid of thought and reason these days? I am gobsmacked by these comments. We are talking about human beings about to drown in the icy sea, and we must spare a thought for the poor crayfish, rather.

      jason.sole.92 - 2012-10-15 12:18

      Claudine - I for one have long time stopped favoring ppl over animal life, its not that i didnt want the ppl saved its just that I will never ever be thankful for poachers. Poachers in all forms are the scum of the earth.

      kyle.berry.90857 - 2012-10-15 12:58

      Yes king, time that man is favored over animals must come to an end. Claudine,do you think you're better than any other being?

      iwance.wasdere - 2012-10-15 13:23

      Crayfish = yummy. People, not so much. I hope that all these idiots who prefer crayfish lives over the lives of people find themselves in icy Cape waters with nobody but poachers around when they need help the most, and I hope they have the convictions of their beliefs to turn away the nasty poachers and rather become crayfish food at the bottom of the ocean. Don't get me wrong, I am 100% against poaching, but one has to get ones priorities straight.

      klippies.coke.7 - 2012-10-15 14:07

      Come on! Saving these people's lives actually made them stop poaching for the time they were occupied with rescue operations. +1 for Humanity and +1 for the Crayfish that are still alive because of it.

      odette.gioio - 2012-10-15 16:58

      ever heard of " teach a man how to fish so that he can feed his family, instead of giving him a fish"....the sea belongs to everyone, no man has a claim over anything but himself!! poachers or not who are you to say they are evil...turn the tables and see how you will survive without your pay check for 1 month!

      eban.tempellhoff - 2012-10-15 18:59

      one day, you may be in need of help, please remember to stop your good sammaritan and ask him or her first if they are criminals .... I am sure that when you discover they are criminals you will prefer to drown, burn, bleed to death etc... in favour of being helped by a criminal...not bloody likely you will beg for help I bet,,,, and probably forget to say thank you!!!

      kobie.nel1 - 2012-10-15 19:07

      Gee wizzz. Next time anybody find him/herself on a sinking ship, grab a rat and hold on. You will have a better chance to get saved if you do not let go of the rat, just hang on so you will be taken along when they save the rat. Glory me, no wonder this country is in such a state. No human being needs enemies with news24 commentors around. AND THAT INCLUDES ME

      gerts.schoeman - 2012-10-16 08:11

      Seems like Ruan is very ill informed. These guys have been diving many years to make a living. Big fishing companies are "Poachers with papers", raping our seas to afford theird luxurious lifestyles. Look at all the Chinese longliners in Cape Town harbour? You think they are law abiding fishing vessels? Wake up Ruan and friends!

      sean.noble1 - 2012-10-16 10:47

      Actually all the poachers combined cannot poach in one fulle year, the same quantity of sea life being excavated by a single one of Tokyo Sexwale's fishing boats in a single day. They have structured recreational fishing in such a way that certain fat cats can run their shipping operations and make billions while these "poachers" can no longer make a living of fishing since it has now been outlawed unless you have political connections.

      claudine.b.shiels - 2012-10-17 09:34

      Yes, Kyle, actually I do think I am way more important than a crayfish. Human beings ARE more important than animals. You will find that to be the generally held view. Watch, for example, the actions of most human beings if people and animals are in an accident or explosion or natural disaster. You will find that most decent people would allow an animal to die before a human. If you and your pet budgie were in a house fire, I would like to see the look on your face if the fire brigade rushed for your budgie before you. (I can't believe I am even having this ridiculous conversation.) Human beings are responsible for the well being, care and nurturing of the animals of the earth. We are to treat them well and kindly. We are not, however, less important or even equal to an animal.

      kyle.berry.90857 - 2012-10-17 13:08

      pity you have that view claudine, that's the attitude that has left our world in the state it is. We seldom protect animal kind...we ruin their environments, we've almost made this world uninhabitable, and we rape and misuse the sea... I personally feel sh*t for man, if we all die today this planet would only ever be better off!!

      kyle.berry.90857 - 2012-10-17 13:16

      And it's seriously naive to believe these poachers are merely feeding there families without other chose, or to think that it is any different than Rhino poaching, these people are all part of a circle of organised crime, supplying tik, ect. to their own communities... come on guys, wake up!!

  • Matthew.and.Denise - 2012-10-15 08:46

    Well done to them, I hope they get proper recognition for their bravery!

      clivegoss - 2012-10-15 09:07

      and permits !

      iwance.wasdere - 2012-10-15 13:25

      Haha! A free years worth of legal permits as reward!

      saintbruce.bruce - 2012-10-15 16:20

      Permits for commercial fishing went to a JHB based Cadre ! He won the tender and does not even have a boat! The community continue to fish and dive as they have done for many years before the 'tenderpreneur'system started. Get perpective folks, before you shoot your mouth off. I wonder if the term 'poacher'is even correct here. They could have been recreational divers yet they stopped what they were doing and went to rescue fellow men in distress. I wouldn't care if they were Al-Qeada terrorists so long as they got me out of the stormy sea! Have a heart.

  • bouncing.betty.33 - 2012-10-15 08:50

    Irony, got to love it! You see, even bad people are capable of good.

      TheSingingHorse - 2012-10-15 09:31

      What is the definition of bad and good? According to what and whose standards/cultures/laws.But I get the jist of what is being said

      pearson.botha - 2012-10-15 10:24

      Breaking a man made law does not make somebody a bad person. Don't assume that every law written in the statute is good. Ask Joseph Stalin

      jason.sole.92 - 2012-10-15 13:33

      Now Pearson lets examine that? Every law including capital laws are man made.

  • lydonmcg - 2012-10-15 08:52

    Major kudos for helping out. But at the same time that doesn't excuse the poaching.

      customdesign - 2012-10-15 09:07

      If they weren't poaching more people would have died

  • susan.lennox.98 - 2012-10-15 09:09

    Ok so they were poachers.....that is BAD...but surely the law will turn a blind eye to that and acknowledge what the did.....the Police will now know where they poach from and must just keep an eye on the place.....surely there are far more heinous crimes committed.!

  • susan.pretorius.31 - 2012-10-15 09:10

    Only in South Africa....

  • joe.blogs.98837399 - 2012-10-15 09:19

    Well done.

  • - 2012-10-15 09:26

    Well done to the 'poachers'. Fine with me as long as they are NOT rhino poachers.

      kyle.berry.90857 - 2012-10-15 09:36

      It's the same attitude as rhino poaching, absolute disregard for nature. - 2012-10-15 09:53

      @kyle. I know poaching is a crime, but surely rhinos occur in a very small area of the world, unlike crayfish. Do you think the maritime police in say Somalia or Nigeria is as religious and dedicated as ours?

      kyle.berry.90857 - 2012-10-15 10:07

      Rhinos were un-threatened at one stage, how long till crayfish go extinct, it's all about an attitude, conserve nature, live in harmony with nature, don't abuse nature, we think we're more relevant, because we're "intelligent", yet we don't show much intelligence. This might sound harsh, but humans are the ONLY problem earth has, it could do with a few less (actually all) of us...just my opinion. - 2012-10-15 10:19

      @Kyle. I get where you are coming from, but I don't think a few chaps 'diving' for crayfish pose any greater threat than a licenced operator as big as the Sea Harvest chaps. Subsistence divers are to me just a very minute part of the equation. I believe the big guys are the problem.

      piet.snot.77964 - 2012-10-15 10:53

      These poachers are probably also involved in abalone poaching!

      mary.kelly.16568548 - 2012-10-15 12:43

      How can anyone compare fishing for crayfish (albeit illegally) to the vicious slaughter of warm blooded mammals often with young that no-one needs to use for food? Come on I'm pretty sure none of these illegal fishermen ( I use that term because I don't believe it to be the same as poaching rhino) would ever brutally murder a rhino. If they were like that they would have been too cold hearted to save any one but would have run away to protect their own behinds.

      iwance.wasdere - 2012-10-15 13:29

      @kyle.berry.90857 - I think you should volunteer to go first and free up some valuable space for the rest of nature Kyle. So, when you going to volunteer for suicide? Stand up for your convictions and don't be such a whiny wimp! Be a man Kyle!

      kyle.berry.90857 - 2012-10-15 14:02

      iwance...wateva, it's about an attitude toward nature, join me, we'll do it together. Do you deny that this world would be perfect if it was void of mankind

      kyle.berry.90857 - 2012-10-15 14:09

      By the way, you're probably the problem with the world, if I take you with me, I'd feel more successful than any man. You are why aliens won't talk to us!

      iwance.wasdere - 2013-01-20 11:45

      @kyle.berry.90857 - The World would be far better without the likes of you, now show some backbone, be a man and go and finish yourself off. You know you want to, just think how much better off all the little furry animals would be without you around!

  • doug.gass1 - 2012-10-15 09:45

    OK wait... was there 1 (one) or 2 (two) people killed in this tragedy? This article says "said one diver about bringing out the body of the only person to have died in the tragedy" yet another news24 article said 1 tourist and a crew member... what about the missing people? I'm confused.

      gordon.turner.37 - 2012-10-15 10:17

      Passenger died and was pulled out in the initial rescue effort. Crew member drowned and was found the next morning on the bottom by navy divers at the site where the boat capsized.

  • jess.wags.5 - 2012-10-15 09:45

    Well done to the poachers!

  • claire.ranwell - 2012-10-15 09:51

    2 people died - not just one that they mentioned - 1 British man and 1 South African man died......

  • dalai.rama.9 - 2012-10-15 09:54

    The irony. Rescuers are poachers not law enforcement officers!

  • isabel.ashe.7 - 2012-10-15 10:01

    Well done to all that saved lives..Poachers..... Maybe if they were given licences to fish, they would not need to POACH...Well done to all...

      piet.snot.77964 - 2012-10-15 10:54

      It is OUT OF SEASON for crayfishing!!!

  • riette.mckenzie - 2012-10-15 10:04

    It doesn't matter that they were poaching THEY SAVED LIVES (that was why they were right there) it was meant to be like that, give them a fine then if you want to be like that but what is more important than a HUMAN LIFE well done to all who helped

      jason.sole.92 - 2012-10-15 12:19

      A huge amount of things are much much much more important than human life.

      kyle.berry.90857 - 2012-10-17 13:49

      Only the well educated, forward thinking understand this King. I'm glad I'm not alone on this

      iwance.wasdere - 2013-01-20 11:49

      Hitler, Pol Pot, Stalin, Idid Amin, kyle.berry.90857. All birds of the same feather! What are you doing here Kyle, shouldn't you be dead by now? Chicken? Go on, set the example dude!

  • ruben.maistry - 2012-10-15 10:10

    Human lives, beyond value, raping the ocean, what the hell, and I wonder...

  • muller791 - 2012-10-15 10:17

    So there are no photo's of the the real hero's what bull!!!!

  • kyle.berry.90857 - 2012-10-15 10:18

    Poor people! Poor animals, I eat seafood/meat, but the few laws in place are an absolute minimal we can do to conserve our planet! After all these animals are part of a perfect system, and contribute positively to nature, where we mostly destroy.

  • alan.ingram.355 - 2012-10-15 10:26

    Where were the 'life jackets ' people are supposed to wear when going out to sea in a boat?

      ant.haybuchanan - 2012-10-17 18:54

      Life jackets are stored in various places & only handed out & donned when the skipper deems it necessary.They are not worn at all times.

  • mashudu.ndou.3 - 2012-10-15 10:40

    Credit should be given were is due and i think these poachers deserve some praise. They saved people!!!

  • robert.reeve.7564 - 2012-10-15 10:54

    When the centre of buoyancy reaches the centre of gravity a boat will turn turtle. Were they overloaded and indeed, why didn't all the passengers have obligatory safely gear? I hope the BOI reveals all to prevent any further tragedies...

      ant.haybuchanan - 2012-10-17 19:13

      I wonder if any-one did stability tests on that vessel with the upper platform fully loaded?A top-heavy shallow-draft cat looks dangerous to me.No doubt the BOI will consider all aspects of the construction, modification & operation of the vessel.

  • john.bollie - 2012-10-15 10:57

    I admire the fact that these people came to the rescue of passengers. Someone mentioned that there are no pictures of these hero's. Whel, if I am a poacher I wont like pictures taken of me. The man said that they were chased away by the rescue teams when they arrived as they can do it faster. This being said after the "amature recuers/poachers" already rescued 18 people. Well I am sure the trained people might do it faster if they both start at the same time, but at that stage when the rescue units arrived it was already 18-0 in favour of the poachers. Well done guys!! Poacher or no poacher you deserve medals!

      shaunisaac.malambo - 2012-10-15 20:09

      18 people where saved by men that risked their lives, in most cases it's the poachers that knows the dangers of the ocean better that anyone else.

  • jordi.johnson.1 - 2012-10-15 11:00

    haha poachers.. they're crayfish diving for food not poaching

  • john.plaskett.14 - 2012-10-15 11:33

    All these comments about poaching miss the point completely. The only point here is the poachers were there, humanity and concern to save lives by people who were intimately familiar with the conditions should be acknowledged. Anyone who was pulled from the water would love these guys. Save the debate on poaching for another day.

      tony.angel.3975 - 2012-10-15 12:15

      I agree john,100%

      fuad.vries - 2012-10-15 12:24

      Exactly! I'm not justifying poaching, I believe it to be wrong...but I am sure that the carbon footprint of these poachers is MUCH smaller than the carbon footprint left by these commentators...Let's not be too harsh or too quick with the finger pointing, well done for saving lives!

      jason.sole.92 - 2012-10-15 13:29

      Fuad, unless you have carbon audited both the poachers and us I wouldnt go shoot my mouth off. Also poaching as a problem has very little to do with Climate Change and more to do with resource conservation and the preservation of species.

      shaunisaac.malambo - 2012-10-15 20:11

      a poor heading for an article a typical south african news heading, anything opportunity to make money of the death of people.

      Fuad - 2012-10-24 10:39

      Jayded King...And climate change has nothing to do with resource conservation or species preservation...Riiiggghhhhht!

  • cheslyn.francis - 2012-10-15 12:18

    Poachers or not -they did a great deed. There would be many empty beds' and households, robbed of husbands and fathers and partners, if it had not been for their actions -Let us be grateful for their presence, and they left their families' livelihoods to save others!

  • byron.matthews.562 - 2012-10-15 12:20

    Instead of offering them permits, why not offer them trials in diving related jobs. Steady higher earning jobs with their diving skills to good use and their skill-set honed with further training.

      edward.d.beesley - 2012-10-16 10:03

      Higher earning than poaching? Hahahaha

      tiffany.martin.7792 - 2012-10-16 12:33

      To chris otto what are you talking about making easy money these poachers go out in the deep sea to earn is that easy making money no I don't think so shame don't be mad cause your rescue team came late on the scene, you sound racist anD yes these POACHERS you called BASTERDS did a good job your rescue peoples boat wasn't pumped up tanks was half full you hired a rubber boat cause there wasn't a rescue boat at the time so if you add up all the time you wasted just by that how many peoples lives would be gone HA think idiot it was gods will that the poacher was there that time

  • carolyn.dewrance - 2012-10-15 12:53

    Well done Poachers, you did a really good job at saving the lives of some of these people, and no matter what others say about you, I think you all deserve a medal for what you did.

      jason.sole.92 - 2012-10-15 13:28

      Yeah as long as they can still receive them while serving time.

  • malcolm.stevens.129 - 2012-10-15 13:04

    Poaching = -5 Saving people's lives = +10

  • andrew.surtees1 - 2012-10-15 14:32

    catch 22

      andrew.surtees1 - 2012-10-15 14:35

      oh and excuse the pun ha ha, just glad they managed to save these people! the fact that they saved these people is fantastic and i think because of that they should get off on a warning and just be flagged incase they carry on doing it and if they get caught again then take the situation futher!

      lunga.matsikechangu - 2012-10-15 19:36

      They should be given lisence to fish free of charge and lots of BELLS

  • khathu.rasi - 2012-10-15 14:56

    Hey u Poacher, so you still got a little good heart in u? Wow weldone Ps

  • marysia.vieira - 2012-10-15 17:37

    As long as there is poverty and high unemployment there will always be poaching.

  • felix.lee.507 - 2012-10-15 18:53

    Better to do something that is right than to stand by and do nothing at all. Yes they are poachers, but we must not forget that these poachers still value the life of a human being, unlike others. wonder how many even said thanks?

  • eban.tempellhoff - 2012-10-15 18:55

    If the poachers have cost industry gazzilions, it cannot compare to one life, and they saved 18 people ... they should all be given a medal of bravery! "1" life has no value it is priceless and as far as i am concerned they are heroes and should be recognised massively, they were meant to be there!! They saved lives end of story!!!

  • faith.leburu - 2012-10-15 19:16

    Poaching is not ayoba but I would give a nobel prize for these poachers.. Risking their lives and forgetting they might get arrested, they are more sincere than some political leaders in this country...

  • eugene.henriques.9 - 2012-10-15 19:22

    Well done to those poachers other wise it would of ended up in the deadliest catch.

  • shaunisaac.malambo - 2012-10-15 20:05

    Well done to the "poachers" for saving the lives of those who have almost died. There was a purpose why you where there at the right time and giving some a second chance to life! God Bless you in your unnoticed deeds!

  • kyle.buitendag - 2012-10-16 08:45

    Well done guys, pity about the poaching, but nicely done in term s of helping....

  • danyalkolbe - 2012-10-16 11:37

    To all those IQ deprived intellectuals who value the existence of crayfish's lives over human ones,I am coming for your little ones this summer.My name is Neptune and I await your comments after the funerals.

      kyle.berry.90857 - 2012-10-17 13:43

      cool a book

  • Billy - 2012-10-16 12:09

    well done, hope they get recognition for it. poaching is wrong, they should still not be doing it. confiscating their equipment would cause them to have a greater need for money, just perpetuating their whole poaching business... reward them with the tools to fish for an income/life legally.

  • rosalind.stone.9 - 2012-10-16 12:41

    I lived in Hout Bay for many years and there is no doubt that the poachers are not welcome - however these are men who were born and raised there, and whose families have lived there, sometimes for many generations. They poach crayfish to make a living; they sell them to restaurant owners who are wealthy but want a bargain - this is what drives the trade! I applaud these men for their acts of humanity, they could just as well have fled from the scene, more concerned about not being caught than helping to save lives.

  • annette.innocenzi - 2012-10-18 22:08

    I was at the Look out Deck when the rescue boats started going out. One only had to see the look of shock and terror on the faces of the survivors to acknowledge that the 'poachers' are heroes. Instead of labeling them as criminals - what is being done about the owners of the boat? It would seem that this story is being hushed - and if we care to investigate this more - we will be surprised as to the safety of this boat and further more how this boat was allowed to operate in Hout Bay at all.

  • stephen.j.coetzee.5 - 2012-11-11 19:13

    IDIOTS arguing about all so pathetic....

  • PmaQDaddy - 2012-11-20 10:10

    do people love animals more than they love people?

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