At 07h20 (Saturday, 18th January) NSRI Agulhas volunteer sea rescue duty crew were activated following reports of a Mayday distress radio call, intercepted by the Telkom Maritime Radio Services, from a boat in the vicinity of Agulhas. More detail could not be obtained and despite no certainty of the exact location of the boat it was known that the distress call was coming from somewhere between Struisabaai and Agulhas and it remained unknown what craft or vessel had called Mayday.
Telkom Maritime Radio Services posted an all ships alert from vessels in the area to be vigilant while NSRI Agulhas prepared the sea rescue craft Vodacom Rescuer VII to be ready to launch.
Then the fishing trawler SOUTHERN STAR reported finding the ski-boat MY CHINA at the 12 mile bank, approximately 16 nautical miles off-shore of Struisbaai, and all 4 fisherman of MY CHINA, who had abandoned their craft which was taking water and sinking, were rescued onto SOUTHERN STAR.
SOUTHERN STAR confirmed that all 4 crew of MY CHINA, aged between 45 and 60, were safe and not injured and they also confirmed that they had secured the casualty boat and had attached a tow-line.
Our NSRI Agulhas crew launched our sea rescue craft and rendezvoused at the rescue scene and NSRI took over the casualties and the tow-line from SOUTHERN STAR and we towed the casualty craft to Struisbaai harbour and once safely in Struisbaai no further assistance was necessary.
It appears that the crew of MY CHINA were repairing a motor when another craft came close by (underway) causing a bow wave to swamp MY CHINA which led to the second motor of MY CHINA also failing and subsequently MY CHINA continued to be swamped by water causing her fishermen to raise the alarm before abandoning the craft.
Then at midday NSRI Agulhas responded aboard the sea rescue craft VODACOM RESCUER VII to assist a chukky boat (a small fishing boat) BELLA, 5 nautical miles off-shore of Struisbaai, that suffered mechanical motor failure.
The casualty boat was taken under tow and towed by NSRI to Struisbaai where once safely in the harbour they required no further assistance.