At 00h52 on Monday the 3rd of October, NSRI Simon’s Town duty crew were activated by the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) following VHF marine radio reports to Telkom Maritime Radio Services from two yachts and a vessel, at sea off Cape Point, all confirming sighting a single red distress flare approximately 13 nautical miles South East of Cape Point at approximately 00h23.
One of the yachts and the vessel had diverted to investigate and they were requested to begin a search by MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre).
NSRI Simon’s Town were activated and their rescue craft Spirit of Safmarine III was launched.
A search coordinated by MRCC had yielded no results and all craft and vessels engaged in the search were released from searching and NSRI Simon’s Town sea rescue craft returned to base and stood down at 04h30.
As a precautionary measure an all ships VHF marine radio alert was posted by Telkom Maritime Radio Services for vessels in that vicinity and passing by that vicinity to remain vigilant and the NSRI ASR (Air Sea Rescue) were activated at 10h00 today.
An SA Air Force 22 Squadron Oryx helicopter with NSRI ASR rescue swimmers and a WC Government Health EMS rescue paramedic was dispatched at 10h46 today to continue a search.
NSRI Simon’s Town, NSRI Hout Bay and NSRI Table Bay were placed on alert.
A search pattern was flown over the vicinity of the original flare sighting and covering an extensive area but no sign of any vessel in distress has been found and no reports of any vessels overdue or missing have been reported and the flare activation last night remains a mystery.
The matter will continue to be monitored, an active search operation has been suspended pending any new information.
TO REPORT A SEA RESCUE EMERGENCY DIAL 112 FROM A CELLPHONE