SEA RESCUE – Arniston – Monday, 26th October. 10 fishermen rescued after fishing boat sinks and another fishing boat washes ashore.:
At 15h50 on Monday the 26th October, NSRI Agulhas duty crew were activated following a request for urgent assistance from the Chucky fishing boats 'Agulhas' and 'Mrs H' reporting one vessel to be taking water and sinking and one vessel at risk of running aground at Die Poort, off Arniston, between Struisbaai and Witsand.
Reinard Geldenhuys, NSRI Agulhas station commander, said:'We launched our sea rescue craft Spirit of Winelands and our sea rescue vehicle, towing the sea rescue craft I&J Rescuer IV, was dispatched and WC Government Health EMS, Overberg Fire and Rescue Services, towing a rescue rubber-duck, and the SA Police Services responded.'
It was reported that there were 5 fishermen on each casualty boat.
On arrival on the scene we found the local speed boat 'Dor-Jaq' had launched and had rescued all 10 fishermen who were brought safely ashore and there were no injuries.
It appears that vessel 'Agulhas' may have been caught in a channel and at risk of being swept onto rocks after it is believed she may have had motor failure when a sister boat, 'Mrs H', went to her assistance. While attempting to tow 'Agulhas' to safety she too had taken water and sustained damage to her transom after she was engulfed by waves in the channel causing the boat to begin sinking. With 'Agulhas' drifting in the fast flowing channel towards rocks crew abandoned ship.
'Mrs H' is adrift semi submerged and the 'Agulhas' washed ashore onto rocks.
The owners will investigate salvage efforts and SAMSA (South African Maritime Safety Authority) are investigating the incident.
Transnet National Ports Authority harbour officials and the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries officials were on hand to assist.
The crew of 'Dor-Jaq' are commended for their swift reaction.