At 17h03 on Friday the 24th of May Hout Bay volunteers were called out by the Transnet National Ports Authority to assist a small fishing boat, with 3 local Hout Bay fishermen onboard, lost in dense fog and believed to be in the vicinity of Cape Point.
Lyall Pringle, NSRI Hout Bay station commander, said: “Our duty crew launched NADINE GORDIMER and ALBIE MATTHEWS and a search commenced in dense fog for the boat. The three fishermen had only a vague idea of where they could be based on their estimated compass direction that they had travelled from Hout Bay and the length of time and speed that they had been underway.
“The fishermen had run out of fuel and were adrift in 35 meters depth of water with only a 25 meter length anchor chain so the usual procedure of getting them to put to anchor and wait for the fog to lift was not an option.
“Based on the information available we narrowed down the search area to between the shoreline and 3 nautical miles out to sea, between Kommetjie and Cape Point. While searching in this area we found the fishermen at approximately 22h00 just over 3 nautical miles off Soetwater (between Kommetjie and Cape Point). A tow-line was rigged and we towed them safely to Hout Bay harbour, arriving just after midnight.”
NSRI are urging boaters to carry all safety equipment required including GPS (Global Positioning System) device and to check weather forecasts before launching particularly on the West Coast which sees dense fog conditions regularly during winter months.
Pictures are available for media download on Sea Rescue’s Flickr page.