At 15h42, Friday, 13th June, NSRI Kommetjie rescue crew were activated by the Transnet National Ports Authority following eye-witness reports of red distress flares sighted off-shore of Kommetjie.
We launched our sea rescue craft SPIRIT OF WINELANDS and our sea rescue vehicle and CMR (Cape Medical Response) responded.
North West of the Kommetjie slip way, at Boneyards Reef, we found 4 Hout Bay community fisherman, aged between 30 and 40, clinging to the upturned hull of the capsized fishing vessel SIYAZAMA PROJECT 2.
Our NSRI rescue swimmer was deployed into the surf and in relays, one at a time, each fisherman was brought safely to our sea rescue craft by the rescue swimmer and rescued onto our sea rescue craft. It was confirmed that their were only 4 fishermen on the fishing vessel when it capsized and all were accounted for.
All 4 fishermen were found to be suffering mild hypothermia but they were otherwise not injured.
All 4 men were brought safely to the Kommetjie slipway and handed into the care of the CMR paramedics and all received rewarming treatment by the CMR paramedics but they did not require transportation to hospital.
The NSRI sea rescue craft returned to the upturned boat and after attempts to right the boat at sea were not successful the boat was towed in the capsized position to shallower water near to the Kommetjie slipway and the boat was righted by NSRI.
Later, family of the men arrived to fetch them and they have made arrangements to recover their boat.
It appears that the boat may have been capsized by a wave and once righted a hole was discovered in the hull, suggesting that the boat may have hit a reef or an object before or after she capsized.
During the rescue operation Kommetjie Laundry became aware of the rescue operation in progress and on learning that the fishermen’s clothes were wet from being submerged in sea water, Kommetjie Laundry voluntarily reopened their business and took the fishermen’s clothing to be dried in one of their tumble dryers.
This picture is available on Sea Rescue’s Flickr page.