UPDATE: SEA RESCUE HERMANUS – Sunday, 16th September, 2012. Two bodies located and recovered:
On Sunday, 09th September, following the discovery of an upturned small fishing boat and the body of a fisherman found underwater trapped in fishing nets (see original media release below) it was determined by police that a further three fishermen were missing from the same incident and a search has continued since.
Police divers have searched throughout the week for the three missing fisherman on Fisherhaven Lagoon and today (Sunday, 16th of September) the bodies of two men were located and recovered by NSRI Hermanus volunteer duty crew at Fisherhaven Lagoon. They are suspected to be the bodies of two of the three missing fishermen.
Members of the public had stumbled upon one body in the water, floating just under the water surface, near to where the boat had been found capsized last week and they marked the location using a flotation buoy.
Police, the Forensic Pathology Services and NSRI Hermanus volunteer duty crew were activated and on arrival the body of a man, thought to be that of one of the three missing fishermen, was located and recovered by NSRI Hermanus duty crew volunteers and the body was handed into the care of the police and the Forensic Pathology Services.
NSRI Hermanus then continued to search and a short while later the body of a second man, was located and recovered, by NSRI Hermanus volunteers and the body was handed into the care of the police and the Forensic Pathology Services.
A search continued but no sign of a third body was located.
Only the Police can confirm if the two bodies located today are those of two of the three missing fishermen and formal identification will take place with family members.
Condolences are expressed to the family of the man found deceased by NSRI Hermanus volunteer duty crew, trapped in fishing nets under water near to the boat Orion, on Sunday, 09th September, at Fisherhaven Lagoon, near Hermanus.
Police made contact with family and friends of the deceased man during Sunday and it came to light that an additional 3 men remain missing from the same incident.
A police dive unit are continuing with an ongoing search operation.
Police have opened an inquest docket for investigation.
Fisherhaven: Sunday 09th September 2012:
At 10h03 on Sunday 09th September Hermanus volunteers were called out following reports from a paddler that he had come across an upturned small boat, with an outboard motor, on Fisherhaven Lagoon, near Hermanus, approximately 200 meters from the Lagoon Mouth.
Hermanus duty crew towed Hunters Gold Rescuer to the scene and launched onto the lagoon. They recovered a small capsized boat and the body of a man was discovered under water trapped in Gill fishing nets.
The body of the man has been recovered and was confirmed to be deceased and has been handed into the care of the Police and the Forensic Pathology Services.
It appears that the unidentified black man is in his late twenties or early thirties and it is suspected that the boat may have capsized during the night or in the early hours of this morning.
Clothing worn by the man are blue overall pants and a black rain jacket with 3 layers of clothing underneath.
The name of the small boat is ORION but it is not clear where the boat is from and it is unknown if there was anyone else with the man when the boat capsized but a search of the area has revealed no sign of any other persons.
Authorities are appealing to the family of the deceased man or anyone who can assist in identifying who the small boat belongs to and help to identify the deceased man to call the Police investigating officer, Constable Swem, at Hermanus Police Station – 0283138500 OR 0283138549 OR 0283138522.
The concern is for the welfare of the family of the deceased man and sea rescue authorities are also concerned that there may be additional people missing and we therefore appeal to the media to assist us in this sensitive enquiry by appealing to anyone who knows of the small row boat ORION, with a small outboard engine, that had perhaps launched to fish using fishing nets on the Fisherhaven Lagoon during last night or this morning.
A Police Dive Unit has been placed on alert to assist in a search if it comes to light that there were more people on the boat when it may have capsized.