Christo Filander, NSRI Lamberts Bay deputy station commander, said:
At 16h15, Thursday, 09th June, NSRI Lamberts Bay duty crew were activated following a request for assistance made to NSRI Mykonos to assist fishermen in Elands Bay that were lost in dense fog.
The fishermen, on two separate boats, the Loney Bee, with a 60 year old and a 34 year old Elands Bay fishermen onboard and the Toks, with a 62 year old and a 50 year old Elands Bay fishermen onboard, fishing between Elands Bay and Witsand, were running low on fuel after reportedly trying to find their way home in the dense fog and each boat, although not together and lost in separate incidents, suspected to be in the vicinity of Elands Bay in dense fog.
NSRI Mykonos duty crew were placed on alert.
NSRI Lamberts Bay duty crew towed the sea rescue craft Douglas Murray to Elands Bay to be launched at 19h00 and shortly into a search operation the 4 meter fishing boat Loney Bee was found approximately a nautical mile from Elands Bay harbour and they were assisted to Elands Bay harbour without incident.
The WC Government Health EMS were activated as a precaution.
NSRI Mykonos were then activated to tow the sea rescue craft Gemini Rescuer II to Elands Bay to assist in what had now become a night search for the 4 meter fishing boat Toks.
While NSRI Mykonos were responding to Elands Bay NSRI Lamberts Bay launched from Elands Bay again to search and during a search found Toks 9 nautical miles from Elands Bay and about 1 nautical mile off-shore (in the vicinity of Witsand). Toks had by now run out of fuel and NSRI Lamberts Bay towed them to Elands Bay without incident.
While NSRI towing Toks towards Elands Bay progressed the dense fog lifted.
Once both boats and all 4 fishermen were safely ashore no further assistance was required and the WC Government Health EMS and NSRI Mykonos were stood down as they were no longer required.
NSRI continue to urge fishermen, particularly on the West Coast, where dense fog is a common phenomenon, to carry a GPS and a compass as part of their standard safety equipment.
NSRI encourages anyone launching any craft to go to sea to have the NSRI’s Free RSA SafeTrx app for cellphones which will allow Sea Rescue to have their exact position when an emergency develops and increases personal safety considerably.
NSRI’s free RSA SafeTrx app tracks a sea crafts journey, it also has an emergency button to alert sea rescue if an emergency develops and allows sea rescue to have the crafts exact position, with contact numbers and the crafts type, name and size and it can be downloaded from the NSRI web site at www.nsri.org.za
NSRI encourages anyone launching any kind of craft to go to sea to have the NSRI’s free RSA Safetrx app loaded into their cellphone which increases seafarers personal safety considerably. Free RSA SafeTrx Google Play download: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=safetrx.nsri&hl=en
Free RSA SafeTrx iStore download: https://itunes.apple.com/za/app/rsa-safetrx/id953494702?ls=1&mt=8