ST HELENA BAY:
Mike Shaw, NSRI Mykonos duty controller, said:
At 16h15, Sunday, 29th April, NSRI Mykonos were activated following a request for assistance from the fishing boat Melissa Jade reporting fuel starvation off-shore of Stompneus Baai.
The sea rescue craft Gemini Rescuer II was towed to St Helena Bay and launched but at that stage more boats were reporting fuel starvation after it appears that local fishing boats had been out all day but fishing only started late afternoon when fishing grounds up to 10 nautical miles off-shore were struck.
The NSRI Mykonos sea rescue craft Spirit of Surfski 5 launched and the NSRI Lamberts Bay sea rescue craft Douglas Murray was towed to St Helena Bay and launched in the efforts to reach the multiple fishing boats requesting fuel from fuel starvation and at one stage 10 boats had reported fuel starvation in fading light.
The SA Police Services and WC Government Health EMS responded to St Helena Bay to stand-by with our NSRI controllers.
The NSRI sea rescue craft Gemini Rescuer II diverted to assist the fishing vessel Normandie, 10 nautical miles North of St Helena Bay and 10 nautical miles off-shore, reporting to be under tow by a fellow fishing trawler but taking water from being heavy laden with fish in rough sea conditions and strong winds with 8 crew onboard.
As NSRI reached the Normandie and while approaching the Normandie the fishing vessel capsized and 7 of the 8 crew abandoned the vessel as she rolled over.
7 casualty crew of Normandie were immediately rescued by NSRI from the water and transferred onto the fishing trawler that had been towing Normandie and they were not injured.
One fisherman was last seen on the Normandie as she capsized and despite an extensive search by 3 NSRI sea rescue craft and fellow fishing boats no sign of the man has been found and Police divers are tasked to continue ongoing search efforts and an investigation has been launched.
Unconfirmed reports of a second boat capsizing and one body recovered in a separate incident cannot be confirmed by NSRI but Police are investigating unconfirmed reports related to this.
Fellow fishing boats were able to assist their fellow fishing boats that had run out of fuel and during the night it was confirmed that all outstanding boats were safely ashore in harbours along the West Coast and Telkom Maritime Radio Services are broadcasting an all ships alert reporting the navigational hazard of the capsized fishing boat and for vessels in the area to be on the lookout for the missing fisherman.
NSRI commend the efforts of the West Coast fishing community who assisted with the multiple fishing boats that had run out of fuel.
TO REPORT A SEA RESCUE EMERGENCY DIAL 112 FROM A CELLPHONE