Darren Zimmerman, NSRI Simon’s Town station commander, said:
At 14h32, Tuesday, 23rd January, NSRI Simon’s Town duty crew launched the sea rescue craft Spirit of Surfski II following reports of a fishing ski-boat adrift with suspected fuel starvation reporting to be off-shore of Millers Point.
On arrival on the scene, following a brief search, we found the casualty craft 4 nautical miles off-shore of Millers Point with 6 crew onboard safe.
The casualty craft was towed by NSRI to the slip-way at Millers Point and recovered and no further assistance was required. They had run out of fuel while returning from fishing grounds.
While this operation was underway we were informed of a second fishing ski-boat reporting fuel starvation.
During cell phone communication, while attempting to get an accurate position from the casualty crew, cell phone signal was lost. The casualty crew had estimated that they were between Hangklip and Cape Point, in deep-sea and in an off-shore wind.
We launched the sea rescue craft Spirit of Safmarine III to join our sea rescue craft Spirit of Surfski II that was engaged in a search and rescue operation.
The Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) and MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre) initiated to arrange SA Air Force 22 Squadron support with NSRI ASR (Airborne Sea Rescue) to join the search deep-sea between Hangklip and Cape Point. WC Government Health EMS Metro Control arranged for the EMS/AMS Skymed rescue helicopter, with EMS rescue divers, to join the search closer in-shore between Millers Point and Cape Point.
NSRI Gordons Bay were activated to launch the sea rescue craft Jack and Irene to join the search.
Telkom Maritime Radio Services were preparing to broadcast an all ships alert to alert ships in that area to assist in the search.
At that stage, while additional resources were in the process of being activated, NSRI Simon’s Town, engaged in sweeping line search patterns and moving further out to sea utilising both rescue boats to cover as much ground as possible. With nightfall approaching, the casualty craft, with 2 crew onboard, was located 9 nautical miles off-shore of Millers Point, and the casualty craft was towed to Millers Point slipway and recovered and no further assistance was required. They had run out of fuel while returning from fishing grounds.