These pictures are available for media download from Sea Rescue’s Flickr page.
At 10h02 all 19 crew members were safely ashore after being rescued off the ship KIANI SATU. They were airlifted off the ship by a Titan helicopters Sikorski 76 helicopter in relays.
Graeme Harding, NSRI Knysna station commander, said: “The rescue helicopter hoisted NSRI helicopter rescue swimmers onto the ships deck where they instructed crew on the procedure to be hoisted into the helicopter by winch hoist using under arm harnesses.
“Once they were safely airlifted to the beach, because of the terrain, they were then ferried by our NSRI sea rescue vehicles to a parking area in the Goukamma Nature Reserve where the Nature Conservation office was taken over as a rescue operations control point.
“WC Government Health EMS, ER24 ambulance services, the SA Police Services and Police Sea Borderline are also in attendance.
“The crew members, Ukranian and Filipino nationals, are handed into the care of Police Sea Borderline and they will be transported to Mossel Bay for visa control processing and accommodated.
“Only minor injuries were sustained to two crew members of the ship, a laceration to a hand and one with a minor ankle injury, but they do not require to go to hospital and were treated on-scene by paramedics. None of the remaining crew of the casualty vessel were injured and all 19 crew are accounted for and safe.
“The ship had washed side on to the shore during the early morning and came to rest hard aground after her anchor dragged and the tug boat was not able to hold her off against rough sea swells of 5 meters and strong gusting to 45 knot onshore winds.. The decision was taken by the ships Captain to abandon the ship and the safest method was to deploy the helicopter and hoist the crew off the ship while our NSRI rescue boats stood by to assist if necessary.
“SAMSA officials remain on-scene and the bulk carrier, fully laden with rice, will be assessed for salvage and efforts to prevent an environmental risks.
“NSRI Knysna and NSRI Wildreness have now stood down and are returning to base and NSRI Mossel Bay have been taken off high alert as no further rescue assistance is required.”
NSRI Commend the efforts of NSRI Knysna and NSRI Wilderness crew and the Titan helicopter for the efforts of saving the crew of KIANI SATU today.
UPDATE 2 :
All 19 crew members of the 165 meter rice bulk carrier container ship KIANI SATU are being evacuated off the casualty ship in relays by NSRI Knysna and NSRI Wilderness sea rescue boats.
Once safely ashore the crew will be processed and handed into the care of Police and Tourism officials. No injuries have been sustained.
The first 9 crew members were brought safely ashore at 09h34.
Environmental risks are being assessed by SAMSA (South African Maritime Safety Authority) and efforts will be made to salvage the ship.
WALKER POINT, BUFFELS BAY – Thursday, 08th August, 2013. Ship at risk:
At 03h39 on Thursday the 8th of August NSRI Knysna volunteer sea rescue duty crew were activated by the Transnet National Ports Authority following reports of the KIANI SATU, a 165 meter rice bulk carrier container ship, at risk of running aground at Walker Bay, between Knysna and Sedgefield with 19 crew members aboard who are believed to be Filipino and Ukranian nationals.
Our Knysna volunteers responded towing our sea rescue craft JAYTEE III and SPIRIT OF KYC and NSRI Wilderness volunteer sea rescue duty crew were also activated and they have towed their sea rescue craft SPIRIT OF ROTARY 100 and SERENDIPITY and our NSRI rescue crews are standing-by at Walker Point ready to launch to rescue the 19 crew if that becomes necessary. The Red Cross AMS Skymed 2 helicopter at George Airport is also on high alert accompanied by NSRI helicopter rescue swimmers to respond if it becomes necessary.
According to SAMSA (South African Maritime Safety Authority) the salvage vessel SMIT AMANDLA was dispatched from Cape Town in the early hours of this morning and is expected to reach the scene at nightfall today.
NSRI are poised on the shore ready to spring into action if it becomes necessary.
The ship, sailing from Cape Town, to Gabon, appears to have run into motor mechanical problems yesterday. A tug boat, the Fairmont Glazier, were dispatched to assist and is onscene. In 5 meter swells and gusting to 45 knot onshore Westerly winds the casualty vessel KIANI SATU has dragged anchor and they are now lying about half a nautical mile off-shore and her anchor is currently holding.
Fog has descended further hampering the stand-by rescue operation. There are no direct access points for media on the scene and media are respectfully requested to hold back and not approach as the coastline in the area is dangerous and the ship cannot be viewed from shore.
“The Captain is not willing to have his crew leave the ship at this stage and NSRI on-scene Commander Graeme Harding, NSRI Knysna station commander, is in agreement that unless the situation turns worse it is unnecessary to evacuate crew in the dark under these sea conditions.
Media are respectfully requested to NOT call NSRI by phone on the scene and to liaise only via NSRI Communications at 0823803800.
This is a tense situation and our NSRI rescue resources on the scene cannot have communications tied up.
NSRI DOES NOT HAVE PHOTOGRAPHS AT THIS STAGE.
At this stage all crew onboard the trawler are safe and decisions on further action are being assessed.
Further updates will follow periodically as the morning progresses.