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SEA RESCUE CAPE TOWN, Monday, 28th September. Update on the rescue operation.A total of 4 fishing vessels are engaged in an ongoing search operation for the 3 missing fishermen. 2 I&J fishing vessels and 2 Viking Fishing Company fishing vessels are searching the area 20 nautical miles South of Hangklip in a search operation coordinated by (MRCC) Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre.An Air Force helicopter has withdrawn from the search.The Viking Fishing Companies casualty vessel the MFV LINCOLN continues to be towed towards Port in Cape Town by a sister ship and efforts continue to be focused to attempting to get the vessel to the Port of Table Bay. SEA RESCUE CAPE TOWN, Monday, 28th September. Update on the rescue operation.From vessels engaged in the search during the night and vessels continuing to search today it has been confirmed that in total 9 survivors and 9 deceased are accounted for and 3 fishermen remain missing.A search is continuing for the 3 missing fishermen and an Air Force helicopter is engaged in the search together with 2 fishing vessels that are continuing in the ongoing search operation.Telkom Maritime Radio Services are broadcasting an all ships alert warning vessels in the area to be on alert.The casualty vessel is under tow, by a sister ship, and efforts are being made to bring her to the Port of Table Bay.The 9 survivors were transported to hospital as a precaution and following medical evaluations they have been released from hospital.

Original Press Release:

At 18h06 on Sunday the 27th of September, NSRI were alerted by the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) following a Mayday distress call from a 42 meter Cape Town fishing trawler reporting to be taking on water in heavy sea swells 20 nautical miles South of Hangklip (35 nautical miles South East of Cape Point) with their 21 crew onboard reported to be abandoning ship.Telkom Maritime Radio Services broadcast an all ships alert for any vessel in the area to respond to the distress.NSRI Hermanus launched the sea rescue craft SOUTH STAR and NSRI Simonstown launched the sea rescue craft SPIRIT OF SAFMARINE III.An SA Air Force 22 Squadron Lynx helicopter responded carrying an NSRI ASR rescue swimmer. WC Government Health EMS were placed on alert.The cargo vessel HARVEST RISING, and the fishing trawlers FUCSHIA, ARMANA and AFRICAN QUEEN that were in the area at the time, responded. On arrival on the scene it was confirmed that all 21 crew of the casualty fishing trawler had abandoned their vessel.A search was initiated by the cargo vessel and by the fishing vessels that had responded to the scene and was joined by the sea rescue craft SOUTH STAR, SPIRIT OF SAFMARINE III and by the SA Air Force Lynx helicopter.9 survivors were rescued and 9 bodies were recovered from the water. It was later confirmed that 1 of the survivors who had been rescued had succumbed to injuries and died. (Rescues were made by all of the vessels in the search area).Sea conditions were 6 meter swells with the wind gusting to 45 knot South Easterly. Sea conditions improved during the search and rescue operation.Despite an extensive air and sea search coordinated by MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre) no sign of the 3 missing crew have been found and a search is continuing. Radio communications are being assisted by Telkom Maritime Radio Services.The casualty fishing vessel has been boarded by engineers and attempts will be made to bring her to the Port of Table Bay.The cause of the casualty vessel taking on water has not been determined.Survivors and the bodies of the deceased have been brought to shore and the bodies of the deceased have been handed into the care of Police and the Forensics Pathology Services.The 8 survivors have been assessed by paramedics and they are in the care of police trauma counsellors and the fishing company are attending to the families of their deceased colleagues and to the families of the 3 missing fishermen.An inquest docket has been opened by Police. SAMSA (South African Maritime Safety Authority) will open an investigation into the incident.Sincerest Condolences are expressed to the families of the deceased fishermen.image1 Spirit of Safmarine III and the South African Tug Imvubu that assisted with casualty transfers. (Picture: Matthew Melidonis/NSRI)image2 The bulk carrier Harvest Rising that assisted with the operation. (Picture: Matthew Melidonis/NSRI)image3 Three crew of the Lincoln coming off of Spirit of Safmarine III to be checked by CMR.
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