Justin Erasmus, NSRI Port Elizabeth deputy station commander, said:
“At 15h30, on Friday, 17th August, NSRI Port Elizabeth volunteer sea rescue duty crew were activated by the Transnet National Ports Authority following reports from the Chokka fishing boat Silver Arrow of a body they had come across floating in the water 15 nautical miles South West of Cape Recife and 1 nautical mile off-shore.
“Our NSRI Port Elizabeth volunteer rescue crew launched our sea rescue craft Eikos Rescuer IV, accompanied by Police divers, and responded and on arrival on-scene the body of a man was located and recovered from the sea.
“The body of the man was brought, aboard our sea rescue craft, to Port Elizabeth where it was handed into the care of the Forensic Pathology Services.
“Police have opened an inquest docket.
“The body is unidentified and the cause of death will be determined by an autopsy.
“There are no reports of anyone missing or overdue from that area of Port Elizabeth. It has been suggested that the body may be that of one of the missing Plettenberg Bay fishermen, who went missing last week from the Keurbooms River area. While the distance from that scene is vast (where the body of the man was found between St Francis Bay and Port Elizabeth yesterday – Friday, 17th August) Police in Plettenberg Bay have been informed and family members of the missing men, from the Plettenberg Bay incident, have been requested to assist Police to identify if the body may be that of one of the missing men from Plettenberg Bay in the effort to explore this possibility.
“Family of the missing Plettenberg Bay fishermen continue to be assisted by Police who are continuing a search operation.”
Additional information on the Plettenberg Bay incident:
On Tuesday, 14th August, this past week, Police, who are continuing an ongoing search operation at Plettenberg Bay, discovered the body of one of the 4 missing men, from the Plettenberg Bay, Keurbooms River incident, washed up on the beach approximately 2 kilometers North East of the Keurbooms River Mouth. The body of the man was handed into the care of the Forensic Pathology Services and has been positively identified by the families as one of the missing men. This has left 3 men from the Plettenberg Bay incident as still missing.
Police and Police Divers are continuing a search for the remaining 3 missing men while now also investigating the possibility that the body of the man found between St Francis Bay and Port Elizabeth yesterday (Friday, 17th August) may be that of one of the missing Plettenberg Bay fishermen.