Sea Rescue – Cape Columbine – 25 January, 2011: Search for fishermen lost in thick fog:
After an extensive search 4 fishermen who were lost in heavy fog were found just before 22h00 last night by the NSRI rescue boats looking for them off Cape Columbine in the vicinity of Paternoster.
Skipper Charles Jordaan, 48, William Mentoor, 58, Mohammed Achiles, 50, Nicholas Samuels, 48, on their small ski-boat Brothers, were found to be safe in their boat.
NSRI Mykonos deployed two rescue boats at midday yesterday when the 4 men, using a cellphone, requested assistance after becoming disorientated and losing their way in thick fog.
Local fishermen and ships at sea were alerted, by Maritime Radio Services, to be on the lookout for the lost boat.
The men believed they were north of Cape Columbine Lighthouse, based on where they were fishing earlier in the day before the fog set in, but an extensive search of the area revealed no sign of them.
They reported that their fishing boat (crayfish bakkie), was taking water but they are stemming the flow by bailing water.
In thick fog the NSRI rescue boats continued a grid search pattern, gradually moving further out to sea.
With no metal object on the casualty craft radar could not detect them and an Air Force Oryx 22 Squadron helicopter, which kindly assisted in the search in the afternoon, was soon called off as the thick fog made an aerial search impossible.
At around 21h35, with only one of 4 cellphones on the casualty boat having battery power, the casualty boat phoned the NSRI to say they had heard a boats engine go past them. The NSRI rescue boat had passed their boat at a distance of about 45 metres, but by the time they had phoned the rescue craft was already about 1 nautical mile past them.
Slowly back-tracking the sea rescue boat came alongside the casualty at 21h55.