Shipwreck crew plucked from life raft

2015-08-17 13:02
An NSRI rescue boat. (File, NSRI)

An NSRI rescue boat. (File, NSRI)

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Cape Town - A crew of four was rescued after their boat ran into trouble near Cape Point, the National Sea Rescue Institute said on Monday.

The vessel sank shortly after the men escaped onto a life raft in which they were tossed around in rough seas and a gusting wind before being rescued in the early hours of the morning.

The boat had left Gansbaai at around 20:00 on Sunday but ran into difficulty near Cape Point with sea swells of over four metres.

"At around 01:45 their vessel listed to one side with water reportedly in their engine room (in their diesel tank) and at 02:15 they broadcast a Mayday distress call confirming their co-ordinates and confirming that they were preparing to abandon ship," said NSRI spokesperson Craig Lambinon in a statement.

"It is suspected that they may have developed a crack in the diesel tank."

The skipper of De Bona, John Michael Kronk, said he and his three-man crew, Jannie Esterhuizen, Sydney Basson and Connie Basson, had no time to retrieve their life jackets when they abandoned their vessel.

It "completely sunk" shortly after they abandoned their vessel into their life raft.

"In the strong winds and heavy sea swells they were blown across the ocean afraid that they would be capsized and they have described a hair-raising ride in their life raft at the mercy of the sea," Lambinon said.

Two fishing vessels, Oceana Neptune and Oceana Viking, were diverted to assist those in the life raft.

"At 04:35, Oceana Neptune and Oceana Viking confirmed that they were in the general area and could see the light of what they believed to be the life raft... being blown rapidly across the ocean in the gusting 38-knot winds.

"The life raft was 5.99 nautical miles north-west of their sunken vessel, having being blown that distance away in the gusting winds (5.03 nautical miles off-shore of Hoek van Bobbejaan)."

The two fishing vessels formed "a lee" at the life raft to shelter it from the wind before they could rescue the crew ". [The] NSRI were contacted with the good news that all crew were safe aboard the Oceana Neptune.

"All 4 crew were safely brought into Hout Bay harbour aboard the Oceana Neptune," said Lambinon.

Read more on:    nsri  |  cape town  |  maritime

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