Pretoria: 14 August 2023
Efforts were undertaken over the weekend to initiate the recovery of a fishing vessel that ran aground off the Cape coast near Mossel Bay last week. These efforts were preceded by actions to prevent any potential oil spillage from polluting the sea area, as confirmed by the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) on Sunday.
The salvage operation, led by diverse teams including disaster management experts from the Garden Route region, commenced shortly after successfully locating a crew member who had gone missing during the vessel’s mishap.
The vessel named DIJAANDA, had struck rocks and capsized while engaged in a fishing expedition at sea along the Cape coastline to the south of Mossel Bay on a Wednesday morning. Out of the seven crew members, five (5) tragically lost their lives, and two (2) managed to survive the ordeal, according to a SAMSA’s statement.
SAMSA also reported that prior to commencing the recovery efforts on the distressed fishing boat over the weekend, a thorough examination of the sea area was conducted to identify any potential oil contamination. Fortunately, no signs of an oil spill were detected during this inspection.
Despite the vessel being grounded with a noticeable large hole on one side, it appeared to have contained minimal oil onboard. However, authorities will maintain ongoing vigilance to ensure that any contamination risks are minimized or proactively controlled.
In light of the unfortunate loss of crew members’ lives, SAMSA conveyed its heartfelt condolences to the families affected and expressed its hopes for a swift recovery for the surviving crew members following the traumatic and unfortunate incident.
Furthermore, SAMSA affirmed its commitment to continue investigating the root and underlying causes of this incident.