Air force joins search for 8 missing fishermen

2017-07-17 09:14
NSRI boat (File)

NSRI boat (File)

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Eastern Cape - The search for eight missing fisherman will resume on Monday in the Cape St Francis vicinity after a full day extensive sea, air and shoreline search yielded no results.

National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) spokesperson Craig Lambinon said the SAPS dive unit with the assistance of its K9 Unit, NSRI St Francis Bay, Eastern Cape emergency medical services and an air force helicopter continued its search at first light on Monday.

One fatality has been confirmed, and seven have been rescued.

The fishing vessel Maredon, carrying 16 crew on board, capsized in the early hours of Sunday. The body of one fisherman was recovered and seven people were rescued.

Maritime rescue officials were alerted of red distress flares by various chokka fishing vessels off-shore of Thyspoint. 

Two vessels investigated and found that the Maredon had capsized. One of the vessels came upon a life raft during their search which could not be reached as it had drifted too close to the rocks.

The other vessel recovered one of the survivors from the water, who was taken to hospital in a stable condition.

The NSRI along with police, provincial health emergency services, private ambulances and security companies searched for other casualties amid high swells and heavy winds.

The body of one of the fishermen who had been aboard the Maredon, along with five survivors, was found on shore in the vicinity of Sunset Rocks. The capsized vessel was found hard aground at Sunset Rocks.

High tide conditions caused the vessel to roll over a few times and prevented rescuers from approaching.

A survivor was seen climbing out of the vessel and rescue swimmers waded into the water to retrieve him. He was airlifted to hospital in a stable condition.

Police divers were able to breach the hull of the boat with the use of cutting tools.

No crew members were found inside the hull, and a further inspection is expected to take place on Monday.

Read more on:    nsri  |  port elizabeth  |  search and rescue

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