The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) has confirmed launching an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the capsizing of a KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board boat and in which two people reportedly died, while a third was still missing in Richards Bay early on Wednesday.
According to SAMSA, the tragic incident involving a total of five (5) employees of the KwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board, reportedly occurred shortly after 06h00 at the port of the Richards Bay.
The skipper of the boat – described as a 6.6-meter shark-meshing type vessel, named “Typus III” – was said to have been one of those who fatally lost their lives. He reportedly had more than 18 years of experience as a skipper.
According to the SAMSA report, the incident occurred while the boat crew were conducting shark net inspections and replacements along the Alkantstrand beach in Richards Ba= when strong waves hit the vessel and it capsized.
SAMSA Principal Officer for the agency’s Richards Bay office, Captain Winston Lobo said: “This morning at about 06h45 the Sharks Board owned boat “Typus III” with five (5) people on board, capsized whilst carrying out shark netting operations.
“NSRI (National Sea Rescue Institute) was activated and two (2) persons were recovered and are currently in a stable condition in hospital. Tragically, two (2) others are deceased and one (1) is still missing.”
According to Captain Lobo, the rescue operation of the boat crew and sea search for the missing employee – conducted jointly between the SAMSA’s Maritime Rescue Coordinating Centre (MRCC), Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) port control in Richards Bay as well as NSRI and SAPS divers – continued for the better part of the day on the Wednesday.
In addition, he said, SAMSA officials along with South African Police Services (SAPS) members had been working closely since early in the day to establish the circumstances of the tragic incident.
Captain Lobo reported that the search for the missing person, which also involved a TNPA helicopter in and around the Alkantstrand beach, had been called off after several hours of searching.
The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) will launch an investigation into the capsizing of a leisure vessel in Knysna on Wednesday with eleven people on board.
According to SAMSA in a statement in Pretoria on Thursday, the incident reportedly occurred shortly after lunch on Wednesday when the boat, with eleven people on board, including the skipper, capsized.
All the people on board the vessel – described as a 9 metre RIB “adventure harbour cruise” boat with twin 300HP engines known, and named the MOONRAKER – escaped without injury except for shock and suffering cold, said SAMSA.
The organization reported: “At approximately 1300 local time today (4 July 2018), MRCC Cape Town received an initial report via Cape Town Radio informing that NSRI Knysna had launched to assist a small boat that had capsized in Knysna area leaving unknown number of people in the water – all wearing lifejackets. The weather conditions experienced was waves of up to 4 metres and wind speeds of up to 10 knots.
“MRCC Cape Town immediately initiated a MAYDAY relay broadcast for vessels in the area to assist.
“Subsequent reports indicated that the charter boat SPIRIT OF KNYSNA had sighted the capsized Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat (RIB) and had called NSRI Knysna to assist. The radio call was intercepted by Cape Town Radio.
“MRCC informed Mossel Bay Port Control, SAMSA Mossel Bay and NSRI Mossel Bay to activate and assist.
“SAMSA Mossel Bay established that the name of the capsized RIB was the MOONRAKER (a 9 metre RIB with twin 300HP), a private “adventure harbour cruise” boat operating from Knysna. There had been 11 persons on board and all had been rescued. SAMSA had made contact with the owner of the vessel to confirm information.
“NSRI Mossel Bay confirmed that all of the persons from the MOONRAKER were safe ashore at the rescue base and that there were actually 11 people on board – 10 passengers plus 1 skipper. The survivors were suffering from shock and cold but no injuries. Upon arrival back at the NSRI Knysna additional medical support was provided by the ambulance on-scene. The boat was not recovered.
“Since then NSRI Knysna have relaunched two boats and are attempting to retrieve the capsized boat and debris.”