UPDATE: HOUT BAY – Sunday, 14th October. Body of missing Hout Bay man located and recovered:
During the ongoing search operation, conducted by NSRI, Police Divers, EMS Divers and Navy Divers today (Sunday, 14th October) the body of the missing man was located under water at the location where the boat originally capsized (off Bakleiplaas, between Duiker Island and Duiker Point) by Navy divers at approximately 11h00 said Brad Geyser, NSRI Hout Bay and Joint Operations Commander.
The body has been handed into the care of the Forensic Pathology Services.
The family of the man are in the care of the NSRI commanders and Police trauma counselors. This bring the total fatalities in the capsizing of the charter boat Miroshge to two.
Thirty six people were saved and only a few of the 24 people who were transported to various hospitals remain in hospital for further treatment but all are expected to recover fully.
Original Report: HOUT BAY – STATION8, HOUT BAY, STATION 2, BAKOVEN – STATION 3, TABLE BAY
Saturday, 13th October, 2012. Charter Boat Capsizes two deceased and 36 safe:
At 14h22 on Saturday, 13th October NSRI Hout Bay volunteer sea rescue duty crew were called out following reports of the local 10 meter Hangberg Charters boat Miroshga capsized at Bakleiplaas, between Duiker Island and Duiker Point near Hout Bay with multiple casualties reported to be involved.
Brad Geyser, NSRI Hout Bay and Joint Operations Commander said that it was initially unclear the number of people onboard with conflicting reports of between 34 and 50 passengers.
Our NSRI Hout Bay, Bakoven and Table Bay volunteer sea rescue duty crews launched sea rescue craft and responded. The WC Government Health EMS, Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services, the SA Police Force, a Police Dive Unit and Netcare 911 ambulance services, ER24 ambulance services, Hout Bay Volunteer EMS, EMT (Emergency Medical Treatment and Training), CCRS (Critical Care Retrieval System), CMR (Cape Medical Response), Ronin, the Red Cross Air Mercy Services EMS Skymed helicopter and local Hout Bay Neighbourhood Watch and members of the Hout Bay Security WatchCon responded.
A JOC (Joint Operations Command) was set up on scene and included commanders from all services involved and senior police officers from the Police Provincial Commissioners office. The SA Navy and the SA Air Force were placed on alert.
On arrival on-scene it was found that most survivors had been rescued by the charter boat Nauticat and by the charter boat Extravagance. Additional persons in peril, some found in the water and some found clinging onto the hull of the upturned boat, were rescued out of the water by NSRI rescue boats.
All were brought to shore and treated by paramedics on-scene before some were transported to various hospitals around Cape Town.
Thirty four men women and children were rescued. One of these 34 people, a man, was confirmed to be deceased on arrival at Hout Bay NSRI sea rescue station.
At that stage it was believed that up to 6 people were missing and this number was later revised to 4 people still missing and it was confirmed that 38 people had been on the boat when it capsized.
Of the 4 missing people 3, all women, were rescued from inside the hull of the upturned boat by Police and EMS divers.
Initially EMS Divers rescued a woman from inside the hull of the boat. They used scuba gear to swim under the hull and reached the woman who was using an air pocket inside the hull to breath and who was discovered after NSRI rescuers had communicated with her by tapping on the outside of the upturned hull and received a return tapping.
She was brought out by the EMS divers using breathing apparatus to swim her under and out of the upturned boat. She was surfaced at approximately 16h15 and had been trapped inside the hull since the boat capsized at around 14h15.
On further investigation, deeper inside the hull of the upturned boat, Police divers came across two women, both believed to be from the United Kingdom, (one from Wales), trapped deep inside the hull and who were also using air pockets to breath.
A police diver gave his breathing apparatus to one woman who suffers from chronic asthma. That police diver swam out of the upturned hull without breathing apparatus and returned with fresh sets of breathing apparatus for himself and one for the other trapped woman.
The police divers then had to coach the two females and encourage them to take off their life-jackets which were making them too buoyant to successfully swum out from under the upturned boat and be freed.
After much coaching and encouragement and despite one woman initially refusing to shed her life-jacket they were both successfully brought out by the police divers to safety.
All three women were transported to hospital in critical conditions.
They had been trapped inside the hull of the boat since it capsized at around 14h15. One was rescued at approximately 16h15 and the remaining two at approximately 17h50.
Only one local Hout Bay man, a crew member of the charter boat, was missing and all others are accounted for.
Of the survivors 4 were children, 2 girls and 2 boys.
Twenty four of the survivors have been transported to hospital with various injuries.
The body of the deceased man, who is believed to be from the United Kingdom, has been handed into the care of the Forensic Pathology Services.
Twelve survivors did not require to be hospitalized although they were treated for hypothermia.
All survivors were treated for hypothermia on the scene before some (a total of 24) were transported to hospitals.
The NSRI are aware of South Africans, United Kingdom citizens and French Citizens who were onboard and are still trying to determine if there were passengers of other nationalities.
A search operation for the one remaining missing person, who is a crew member of the charter boat, will resume at first light and will involve NSRI Hout Bay, Police divers and EMS divers and the Red Cross Air Mercy Services EMS Skymed helicopter. The SA Navy have volunteered a Navy boat with Navy divers to stand-by on-scene to assist in the ongoing search from first light.
During the rescue operation additional blankets were sought through Hout Bay’s Watch Con and these blankets were delivered expeditiously. Then additional medical personnel were requested to assist in comforting survivors who were not too seriously injured and almost immediately from retired nurses to new basic first aiders arrived to lend assistance.
All survivors received counseling.
The Atlantic Boat Club and Ikhaya Coffee Bar in Hout Bay harbour provided extensive hot drinks to survivors (to assist in their re-warming) and to rescuers alike.
SAMSA (The South African Maritime Safety Authority) will investigate the cause of the incident and the Salvage vessel Smit Amandla is on-scene to conduct a forensic salvage operation on behalf of SAMSA.
Police have opened an inquest docket.
Pictures are available for media download on Sea Rescue’s Flickr Page.
Message from Ruth Bhengu to NSRI:
Dear Craig Lambinon,
Thank you for your email. Let me on behalf of the Portfolio Committee on
Transport in the National Assembly of the South African Parliament
congratulate you and the rest of the team for your response in saving
the people who were on a capsized charter boat at Hout Bay. We share the
pain with families of those who died and wish those who were injured a
Thank you very much.
Chairperson of the PC on Transport.
SEA RESCUE – HOUT BAY – Monday, 15th October, 2012. Sea Rescue Joint Operations Command:
In response to the sea rescue operation of the capsizing of the Miroshga on Saturday, 13th October, 2012, at Bakleiplaas, between Duiker Island and Duiker Point, on The Atlantic Seaboard, Hout Bay.
The Joint Operations Command and the Emergency Services extend sincerest condolences to the family of John Roberts and the family of Peter Philip Hyett.
I would like to thank in no particular order:
· NSRI Stations 2,3 and 8
· Darren Zimmerman, NSRI rescue helicopter duty controller, for his standby for air support
· Ian Klopper and his team for managing the entire Triage Operation which included verifying the casualty numbers which was so vital in determining who we still had to find.
· Dr Cleeve Robertson and the Metro EMS Team from WC Government Health Emergency Medical Services who supplied wise advice, physical onsite evaluation on both days at sea and of course all of the medical, rescue, logistics, communications and counseling support during both days
· Skymed EMS Helicopter (Red Cross Air Mercy Services)
· Charter Boats Nuaticat (Mark Coetzee), Extravagant (Sean Amor), Captain Sea (Gary Thompson), Whitmore (JJ De Villiers), Alfonso Whichman and his boat Crew and Ken Evans Circe Launches
· Cape Town Disaster Management and Law Enforcement
· Cape Town Fire & Rescue Services
· SA Police Services Visible Policing and the Hout Bay SAPS Team
· SA Police Services Diving Unit
· Metro EMS Technical Dive Unit
· SA Navy and the SA Navy Diving Unit from Simonstown
· Netcare 911 and ER24
· Hout Bay Volunteer EMS
· Emergency Medical Treatment and Training
· Critical Care Retrieval System
· Cape Medical Response and Camps Bay Community Medics
· Hout Bay Neighborhood Watch
· ADT and Watchcon and their Radio Control Centre in Hout Bay for the HBNHW
· MRCC, SAMSA and The Department of International Relations and Cooperation RSA
· NPA and the Harbour Master of Cape Town as well as Deputy Harbour Master Sydney Minaar who was present in the JOC on both days
· MEC for Tourism Alan Winde and the support of his department and the Foreign Consulates who assisted
· Deputy Shadow Minister for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries who was present in the JOC for both Days
· Andy Wood and Andre van Schalkwyk and their WASAR Team who conducted the ground search on Sunday.
· CT Metro Police and Traffic Department and all hospitals that received and cared for patients
· MCM and their management for assisting with the control of access to the harbour during the operation
· SA Air Force Squadron 22 for going on standby for us
· The Press for their indulgence, patience and ultimately good reporting of the operation
· The Community of Hout Bay who opened up their hearts and homes and supplied blankets, dry clothing, food and drink and in many cases personally came to the Base to help with the patient counseling and comforting
· Bronwyn and her team of Trauma Counsellors who worked with all of the bereaved on both days.
· Last but not least, the small poaching boat whose crew gallantly got into the water and helped save passengers into rescue craft. One was seen to be holding a child in his arms all the way back to harbour whereupon he handed the child to waiting medical staff and disappeared.
The amazing thing is how everyone pulled together regardless of background or where they came form but made this terrible incident into a remarkable rescue.