Kelly-Ann Irving, NSRI Kommetjie deputy station commander, said:
At 02h43, Wednesday, 29th April, NSRI Kommetjie duty crew were activated following an eye-witness report made to Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services of a suspected vessel on fire sighted off-shore between Hout Bay and Kommetjie and the eye witness reporting 2 red distress flares sighted in the same vicinity of the suspected vessel alight.
NSRI EOC (Emergency Operations Centre), TNPA (Transnet National Ports Authority) and MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre) initiated investigations to determine what vessels were at sea in the area of the report.
NSRI Kommetjie duty crew launched the sea rescue craft Spirit of the Vines and NSRI Hout Bay duty crew were activated and they launched the sea rescue craft Albie Matthews.
NSRI coastwatchers in that area were tasked to keep a sharp look out.
NSRI sea rescue vehicles responded to elevated positions along the coastline to establish observation posts and to assist with VHF marine radio communications.
Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services, SA Police Services and WC Government Health EMS were placed on alert.
Telkom Maritime Radio Services broadcast a VHF marine radio all ships alert requesting vessels at sea in the area to report any related sightings to what was reported by the eye-witness and to keep a sharp look out and report any further sightings.
Vessels and fishing craft in the vicinity reported no related sightings, to Telkom Maritime Radio Services, and continued to keep a sharp lookout and the information was relayed to rescue coordinators.
NSRI crew and coastwatchers observing the area confirmed that a vessel at sea displaying bright lights may have given the impression of a vessel alight through the hazy weather conditions but that did not explain the sighting of 2 red distress flares and sea rescue craft continued to respond to the area to investigate.
A search of the area between Scarborough and Hout Bay revealed no sign of any vessel or craft on fire, no vessel or craft in any difficulty and investigations revealed no reports of any vessel, craft or persons overdue or missing at sea.
A sea search was suspended at 03h41 and sea rescue craft and sea rescue vehicles returned to base.
NSRI EOC (Emergency Operations Centre), TNPA (Transnet National Ports Authority), MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre) and Telkom Maritime Radio Services continued to monitor throughout Wednesday but there remains no reports of any vessel or craft or persons overdue or missing.
While we are confident that the hazy weather conditions and bright vessel lights displayed from a fishing vessel at sea in that vicinity may have given the impression of a vessel on fire the 2 red distress flares that were sighted by the eye-witness remains unexplained.
SEA RESCUE EMERGENCY: 112 or 087 094 9774