On 7 August this year one of the most well known charter fishing boats on the KZN South Coast, Big Mamma, capsized in the bay at Shelly Beach. The duty crew were activated, but their assistance was not required because the crew and passengers of Big Mamma were already safely on the beach and the vessel had washed up over the rocks.
It was a day of mixed emotions for everybody involved at the Sonny Evans Small Craft Harbour. Feelings of relief that there had been no fatalities and the injuries were relatively minor dominated, but there was also sadness to see the once proud vessel now a total write-off.
The community rallied around the owners, Jan Olivier and Karen van Niekerk, culminating in a golf day at the Port Shepstone Country Club arranged by the Lions.
Station 20 was invited to set up a static display at one of the holes to show solidarity with the rest of community.
Deputy Station Commander, Pieter Coetzee, and duty coxswain, Shaun Harris, decided to send the base mobile with Le Jen Mar and four crew members to ‘fly the Sea Rescue flag’.
“It is important for us to support the community we serve. We were all there on the day Big Mamma capsized and shared much of Jan and Karen’s pain on the day so it was fitting that our crew should be there at this event”, Coetzee said.
By coincidence one of the golfers was the General Manager of CIMPRO, Mr Giovanni Loretti. He had been instrumental in arranging sponsored crew shirts for all the members of the station last year. He said it was gratifying to see the shirts being put to good use.
Submitted by: John Rolt, Station 20 Shelly Beach