At 14h48 on Monday the 4th August, NSRI Agulhas and NSRI Hermanus volunteer sea rescue duty crews were activated by the Transnet National Ports Authority to prepare to respond to assist the Port Elizabeth 13.5 meter fishing trawler DODEKA, with 16 crew onboard, after their motors could not be restarted following an earlier electrical fire onboard rendering the vessel powerless 15 nautical miles South of Agulhas on the 12 Mile Bank (fishing area).
NSRI Agulhas had been on alert to assist since early the same morning. Despite efforts during the afternoon to restore electrical power after it was confirmed that the fishing crew could not solve the electrical fault onboard, NSRI were activated to respond to their assistance at the 12 Mile Bank, off Struisbaai.
NSRI Hermanus was requested to assist with their larger sea rescue craft after it was confirmed that the casualty trawler would need to be towed to Struisbaai.
All 16 crew were confirmed to be safe onboard.
NSRI Agulhas volunteer sea rescue duty crew launched the sea rescue craft VODACOM RESCUER VII at 17h30 and NSRI Hermanus volunteer sea rescue duty crew launched the sea rescue craft SOUTH STAR at 18h50 and they responded to rendezvous with the casualty trawler off shore of Struisbaai at the 12 Mile Bank. (For NSRI Hermanus it was a 53 nautical mile voyage).
On arrival on-scene at 20h55, in rain conditions, a 25 to 30 knots South Westerly wind and 3 to 4 meter rough sea swell, a towline was rigged from NSRI Hermanus sea rescue craft SOUTH STAR and escorted by NSRI Agulhas VODACOM RESCUER VII the casualty trawler and all her 16 crew were safely towed to a safe mooring in Struisbaai.
The trawler owners will arrange repairs and the operation was completed at 00h30.
NSRI Hermanus sea rescue craft returned to Hermanus at 06h45 this morning after running into bad weather.