NSRI’s efforts lauded after 22 fishermen rescued from sinking trawler

Twenty -two fishermen were rescued from their sinking fishing trawler off the coast of Cape Town on Friday.

Twenty -two fishermen were rescued from their sinking fishing trawler off the coast of Cape Town on Friday.

Published Apr 29, 2024


The efforts of all involved in the rescue of 22 local fisherman when their fishing trawler began taking on water and sank have been lauded.

NSRI Hout Bay and NSRI Table Bay duty crews were placed on alert just after 9.30am on Friday following reports from the Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre (MRCC) of a local 35m-long line fishing trawler taking on water, but under tow and pumping water free, about 30 nautical miles off-shore south west of the Port of Table Bay.

“A fellow local fishing trawler had taken the casualty fishing trawler under tow.

“We believe that the local casualty fishing trawler had started taking water in the early hours of the morning and had started heading towards Hout Bay harbour, confident that they would reach the harbour in good time,” the NSRI said.

By 10am it was reported that the situation had deteriorated as sea conditions were changing, wind speeds and sea swells were increasing in intensity, and NSRI made the decision to launch to assist.

“The NSRI Hout Bay rescue craft Nadine Gordimer and the NSRI Table Bay rescue craft DHL Deliverer were launched, accompanied by water pumps – an additional water pump had been delivered to NSRI Hout Bay by NSRI Simon’s Town crew,” NSRI said.

The NSRI Table Bay rescue craft reached the casualty vessel late afternoon, 20 nautical miles off-shore of Oudekraal, in 3m to 4m swells and 35 knot winds, gusting to 40 knots.

“It was obvious to NSRI that the casualty vessel, heavy laden with water despite her crew’s best efforts to expel it, was at risk of capsizing and almost immediately the towline was released while the 22 crew abandoned their vessel into a life raft and the NSRI rescue craft rescued all 22 fishermen safely on to their boat.

“One man suffered an injury and he was treated onboard the NSRI rescue craft by NSRI medics.”

The long liner fishing trawler sank shortly thereafter.

“The skipper and crew of the local fishing vessel that assisted their fellow fishing vessel are commended for their gallant efforts in trying to save the casualty fishing trawler after taking her under tow.

“The casualty crew of the sunken trawler are commended for swiftly abandoning their vessel into life rafts (safely).

“The successful rescue of the 22 fishermen by NSRI Table Bay, in difficult conditions, is commended.”

“NSRI brought all 22 fishermen to the NSRI Table Bay rescue station where EMS paramedics tended to the injured man, who was transported to hospital by EMS ambulance in a stable condition and he is recovering.”

“Thoughts and care are with the 22 casualty fishermen and their families as well as the owners of the fishing company. But we are confident that they will be back on the sea shortly.”

Authorities were assessing the environmental impact of the sunken fishing trawler.

Cape Times

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