Hillegard Holtzhausen, NSRI Richards Bay duty coxswain, said:
At 07h00, Wednesday, 08th August, NSRI Richards Bay duty crew were activated following reports from City of uMhlathuzi lifeguards and the KZN Natal Sharks Board of a KZN Sharks Board boat capsized and in the surf at Newark Beach at the Port of Richards Bay with 5 crew onboard.
The sea rescue craft Spirit of Round Table was launched and an NSRI sea rescue vehicle, ICE ambulance services, a Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) Port Net rescue helicopter accompanied by the NSRI ASR (Airborne Sea Rescue) Unit rescue swimmers, the SA Police Services and a Police Search and Rescue Unit and KZN Sharksboard personnel responded to the scene to join CoU lifeguards already on the scene.
On arrival on the scene 3 crew of the boat were located on the beach and the boat was already beached and 2 men were reported missing.
1 casualty male crewman was taken to the lifeguard station first aid room and following medical efforts sadly he was declared deceased by paramedics.
2 casualty male crew were transported to hospital by ambulance in stable conditions.
At that stage 2 of the 5 casualty crew remained missing in the surf.
During an ongoing search, a body of one of the missing men was located in the surf by the helicopter rescue crew, who guided the sea rescue craft to the location. The body was recovered onto the sea rescue craft in the surfline and CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation) efforts were commenced on the casualty by NSRI medics. The man was brought onto the beach aboard the sea rescue craft, where despite extensive ongoing CPR efforts by NSRI and by paramedics, sadly paramedics have declared the man deceased.
The bodies of the 2 deceased men have been taken into the care of the Forensic Pathology Services.
An ongoing search operation for 1 missing man is continuing. A KZN Sharks Board fixed wing aircraft has joined in the ongoing search and Police Search and Rescue are continuing in an ongoing search operation.
Police have opened an inquest docket.
Condolences and support are extended to those affected by this incident.
SAMSA (South African Maritime Safety Authority) are alerted and investigations into the incident will be conducted.