Darren Zimmerman, NSRI Simonstown station commander, said: “At 07h33, Thursday, 01 May, NSRI Simonstown volunteer sea rescue duty crew were activated following reports of a boat drifting and threatening to run aground and appearing to be unmanned at Glencairn (between Fish Hoek and Simonstown).
“An eye-witness had watched the boat drifting, appearing to be unmanned, for about an hour but when the boat looked like it would run aground he alerted the authorities.
“Our NSRI Simonstown volunteer sea rescue duty crew launched our sea rescue craft EDDIE BEAUMONT II and a Police Sea Borderline patrol boat responded.
“On arrival on-scene we found the 5.5 meter Baronet 17 boat OLLY (pictures on NSRI FLICKR page for media use) washed onto rocks at Glencairns whale watching rocks.
“The boats keys were in the ignition, she appeared to be well equipped but there was no sign of the owner or crew.
“Investigations began into the whereabouts of the crew or owner and on determining that the boat was registered to Gordons Bay ski-boat club the safety officer of the club assisted in the investigation while Police were also alerted and loose equipment and gear on the boat was removed to be stored at NSRI Simonstown base for safe keeping and two NSRI crew members were posted as sentry at the boat.
“The owner was located to a residence in Gordon’s Bay but he claimed that the boat was being stored at a friends house. Members of the Gordons Bay ski-boat club and the owner proceeded to the friends house where it was determined that the friend had lent the boat to another friend and that the boat was supposed to be moored in Gordons Bay harbour.
“On further investigation it was determined that a man that was last known to have used the boat was now suspected to be missing and Police are investigating.
“It is not known if the man who is suspected to be missing is missing at sea but Police believe that the man, who is believed to be a Russian man, known only to NSRI as Dimitri, and believed to be approximately 50 years old, and who owns a property in the Strand, Cape Town, may have been missing since somewhere between, Thursday, 24th April and Sunday, 27th April and the boat was reportedly last seen on Sunday 27th April. NSRI remain on alert to respond to any new information pending ongoing Police investigations.
“NSRI have no further details pertaining to this incident and we are not in a position to launch a sea search with no information indicating as to where or how the man went missing.
“The man who borrowed the boat from the owner has attempted to recover the boat during the 14h00 high tide today but the boat subsequently capsized during the attempt and she has been pulled back onto the rocks from where a salvage effort will be attempted.”