Port Alfred lost two fishermen when their boat was broadsided by a wave as they returned home through the Kowie River mouth on Friday, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) said.
Stephen Slade, NSRI Port Alfred deputy station commander, said the alarm was raised when the three occupants went overboard shortly after 11:00. A rescue team was assembled to help them.
"Our sea rescue craft Rescue 11 Alpha was launched and our sea rescue vehicle, EC Government Health EMS, Gardmed ambulance services, Ndlambe Fire and Rescue Services, Ndlambe Disaster Risk Management officers and the SA Police Services responded," he said.
The fishermen's 26-foot commercial fishing boat was found washed against the rocks on the east pier of the Kowie river Mouth.
A 47-year-old man was rescued from the rocks at East Beach.
Two more men, aged 81 and 55, were recovered from the surf, put onto the NSRI rescue craft and taken to East Beach. Continuous CPR was applied.
However, they were declared dead.
The surviving fisherman was taken to hospital by ambulance in a serious, but stable condition.
"The joint emergency services convey condolences to the family and friends of the deceased," said Slade.
Police have opened an inquest docket.
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