Relief at Cape crew's escape from sinking trawler

2016-01-19 17:14

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Cape Town – Viking Fishing Group expressed relief at the escape of 14 of its fishermen from a sinking trawler near Cape Point on Tuesday.

"We are very grateful and thankful that the crew are all fine," group financial director Rory Williams told News24.

"They were brought ashore early [Tuesday] morning and had full medicals. The trauma counsellors are also very happy with them and there are no major issues."

In the early hours of Tuesday morning, their fishing trawler Lezandi sunk around 10 nautical miles (18km) south-west of Cape Point.

Another trawler located the crew on a life raft and brought them aboard.

The National Sea Rescue Institute's Craig Lambinon said they had later discovered that that Lezandi may have collided with the bulk carrier, Sunrise Jade, in dense fog.

Williams said they did not have many details at this stage, but confirmed the trawler had sunk.

"It was quite foggy, but all the boat vessels had the relevant equipment."

The company made headlines last year after 12 fishermen from a 21-man crew died after abandoning the MFV Lincoln trawler off Cape Point. The trawler took on water and apparently keeled over in rough seas.

That trawler was repaired and released back into active operation about a month ago, said Williams.

He said both accidents had happened within a similar time period, but had involved different circumstances.

The company would conduct its own investigation alongside that of the SA Maritime Safety Authority.

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