At 12h48 on Sunday 22nd December harbour authorities at Struisbaai reported that they had monitored a Mayday distress marine radio call from the commercial fishing vessel Maverick. They could not make any further contact with Maverick and did not know their position.
Sea Rescue crew were activated and the NSRI Agulhas sea rescue craft Vodacom Rescuer VII was put on standby.
Further information obtained from other boats in the area that had also monitored the mayday distress marine radio call was that Maverick may have run out of fuel and may have been adrift for approximately five hours.
The Maverick had reportedly left Struisbaai harbour for fishing grounds at 18:00 on Saturday night.
After determining what course they would have taken, NSRI Agulhas volunteer sea rescue duty crew launched Vodacom Rescuer VII and responded towards a search area 16 nautical miles out off-shore Struisbaai.
Two hours into the search intermittent and unclear marine radio transmissions were picked up from Maverick but the messages could not be adequately deciphered to assist in any way in the search.
Mr Trevor Brinch, a member of HAMNET amateur radio picked up the signal from Maverick and managed to tune his radios in sufficiently to establish communications with Maverick. He was also able to obtain their GPS position.
By then Maverick had drifted into the shipping lane and they claim they were nearly run down by a passing cargo vessel.
2.5 hours into the operation Maverick was located by Vodacom Rescuer VII. It was found that they had engine failure on the one outboard and subsequently ran out of fuel.
We took them under tow and they were towed safely into Struisbaai harbour.
NSRI commend Hamnet for their valuable assistance.