Pat van Eyssen, Sea Rescue Table Bay station commander, said: “On Friday 6 August at 19h03 Sea Rescue Table Bay volunteers were activated following a request for assistance from the authorities on Robben Island reporting a rubber duck capsized on the North West side of the island.
The Robben Island authorities reported that 3 men had walked to the harbour on Robben Island after their boat had capsized and run aground on the North West side of the Island. The 3 survivors had reported, to the authorities on the island, that a further 3 men, who had been scuba diving from their boat, were still in the water somewhere between Sea Point and Robben Island.
NSRI Table Bay volunteers launched our rescue craft Spirit of Vodacom and Rotary Endeavour and a search commenced between Sea Point and Robben Island for the 3 missing Scuba Divers.
Shortly after sea rescue initiated the search the 3 missing scuba divers had telephoned their friends (on Robben Island) to say that they were safe after being picked up by a passing boat and that they had been taken to Hout Bay.
Our sea rescue craft then proceeded to Robben Island to assess the 3 men who were still on the island and a shore rescue party rendezvoused with the 3 men who were already ashore.
All 6 men were found to be safe and not injured and their 4.5 metre rubber duck Sniper is lying capsized against rocks on the North West side of the island.
The 3 men on the island were brought back to mainland aboard our sea rescue craft Spirit of Vodacom.
The men claim they were scuba diving in thick fog between Sea Point and Robben Island and while 3 of the men were on a dive the boats steering had failed and the boat drifted ashore and eventually capsized in the surf on Robben Island and the 3 men who were still on the boat had managed to get ashore on Robben Island. They had lost their 3 dive mates at sea and had then walked to the harbour on Robben Island to raise the alarm.
The 3 men who were diving at the time claim that they had surfaced from their dive to find their support boat missing when a passing Snoek boat Oubaas had picked them up from the water and brought them in at Hout Bay harbour.
The men are skipper Gert Meyer, 25, from Port Elizabeth, and crew Regan James, 25, from Hout Bay and Mario Kleynhans, 29, from Milnerton, who were on the boat when it capsized, and Jacobus Dalton, 17, and Samuel Coverwell, 38, from Milnerton, and a man known only as James, from Hout Bay, who were the 3 divers in the water at the time.
They had launched their boat at the Oceana Power Boat Club earlier in the day to Scuba Dive.
Their boat remains capsized on the North West side of the island and authorities will assess if it can be salvaged.”