Body of missing fisherman found near PE, 7 still missing

2017-07-19 17:11
The capsized fishing vessel. (NSRI)

The capsized fishing vessel. (NSRI)

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Cape Town - The body of one of the missing Maredon fishermen was located on Wednesday, Eastern Cape police have confirmed.

Spokesperson Sergeant Majola Nkohli said the remains of Mbongeni Gift Zulu, 43, of Jeffreys Bay, who was aboard the fishing vessel when it capsized on Sunday, was found floating in the sea near Blue Horizon Bay in Port Elizabeth.

"The crew of [a vessel, called] Gambit… saw the body of a man floating in the sea and later brought [it] to the port in St Francis Bay," he said.

Seven fishermen remain missing.

Volunteers on Wednesday joined in the search, and the search area was extended on day four of the recovery efforts. The chokka boat capsized off Cape St Francis early on Sunday.

On Tuesday, the rescue crews extended the search to include the shoreline of Ashton Bay and Paradise Beach, about 30km from Thyspoint where the incident occurred.

Volunteers had also joined the operation after no sign of the missing fishermen had been found since Sunday.

Sixteen people had been on board the fishing vessel when it capsized.

On Sunday, the body of a dead fisherman was recovered and seven people were rescued on shore at Sunset Rocks, after maritime rescue officials were alerted by red distress flares from various chokka fishing vessels offshore of Thyspoint.

The capsized vessel was found hard aground. High tide conditions caused the vessel to roll over a few times and prevented rescuers from approaching, but a survivor was seen climbing out of the vessel and rescue swimmers waded into the water to retrieve him.

Nkohli said the strong current and wind conditions were believed to have caused the incident.

Police urged anyone wanting to assist in the search for the remaining seven fishermen to contact Captain Johan Du Toit on 071 475 1831.  

An inquest docket has been opened.

Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Senzeni Zokwana is expected to visit the families this week.

Read more on:    port elizabeth

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