Published: 01 October 2015
By:Craig Lambinon, Sea Rescue Communications
At 18h06, Sunday, 27th September, NSRI were alerted by the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) following a Mayday distress call from a 42 meter Cape Town fishing trawler reporting to be taking on water in heavy sea swells 20 nautical miles South of Hangklip (35 nautical miles South East of Cape Point) with their 21 crew onboard reported to be abandoning ship. Telkom Maritime Radio Services broadcast an all ships alert for any vessel in the area to respond to the distress. NSRI Hermanus launched the sea rescue craft South Star and NSRI Simonstown launched the sea rescue craft Spirit of Safmarine III. An SA Air Force 22 Squadron Lynx helicopter responded carrying an NSRI ASR rescue swimmer. WC Government Health EMS were placed on alert. The cargo vessel Harvest Rising, and the fishing trawlers Fucshia, Armana and African Queen that were in the area at the time, responded and on arrival on the scene it was confirmed that all 21 crew of the casualty fishing trawler had abandoned their vessel. A search was initiated by the cargo vessel and by the fishing vessels that had responded to the scene and the search was joined by the sea rescue craft South Star, Spirit of Safmanrine III and by the SA Air Force Lynx helicopter.
Update on the rescue operation (28th September):
A total of 4 fishing vessels are engaged in an ongoing search operation for the 3 missing fishermen. 2 I&J fishing vessels and 2 Viking Fishing Company fishing vessels are searching the area 20 nautical miles South of Hangklip in a search ope-ration coordinated by (MRCC) Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre. An Air Force helicopter has withdrawn from the search. The Viking Fishing Companies casualty vessel the MFV Lincoln continues to be towed towards Port in Cape Town by a sister ship and efforts continue to be focused to attempting to get the vessel to the Port of Table Bay. It has been confirmed that in total 9 fishermen survived, 9 fishermen are deceased and 3 fishermen remain missing. A search is continuing for the 3 missing fishermen and an Air Force helicopter is engaged in the search together with 2 fishing vessels that are continuing in the ongoing search operation. Telkom Maritime Radio Services are broadcasting an all ships alert warning vessels in the area to be on alert. The casualty vessel is under tow, by a sister ship, and efforts are being made to bring her to the Port of Table Bay. From vessels engaged in the search during the night and vessels continuing to search today it has been confirmed that in total 9 survivors and 9 deceased are accounted for and 3 fishermen remain missing. The 9 survivors were transported to hospital as a precaution and following medical evaluations they have been released from hospital.
Craig Lambinon, Sea Rescue Communications