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NSRI Durban duty crew were activated by the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) following reports of a ski-boat taking on water off-shore of Vetchies, Durban.

Paul Bevis, NSRI Durban duty coxswain, said:

It appears that the ski-boat may have suffered engine failure before drifting out the Durban Port entrance where off-shore of Vetchies the vessel capsized.

The NSRI sea rescue craft Spirit of Surfski VI was launched.

Police Search and Rescue and Metro Police Search and Rescue were activated.

Arriving on the scene our NSRI sea rescue craft found a private ski-boat Catamaran had recovered 8 people from the water. The 8 survivors reported 1 person still missing.

NSRI instructed the skipper of the private vessel to take the 8 survivors to the NSRI rescue base.

The 8 male survivors were treated for hypothermia and for shock. Netcare 911 ambulance services responded and 1 adult male was transported to hospital by Netcare 911 ambulance in a stable condition for observation for non-fatal drowning symptoms and for treatment for hypothermia and he is expected to make a full recovery.

The TNPA pilot boat Ballito was in attendance on the scene and our NSRI sea rescue craft and the the TNPA pilot boat initiated a search for the missing man.

We located the capsized ski-boat 800 meters off-shore of Vetchies. An NSRI rescue swimmer was deployed into the water to free dive search under the hull of the capsized vessel.

The NSRI sea rescue craft Alec Rennie was launched and joined in an extensive search for the missing local man.

The capsized vessel was towed North of Vetchies Beach, in the capsized position, to assist to open the Port of Durban to shipping traffic.

Despite an extensive search, into the early hours of the morning, there remains no sign of the missing man.

The casualty vessel was righted and towed into the Port of Durban by the NSRI sea rescue craft.

Police divers and Metro Police divers will continue in a search for the missing man.

NSRI commend the local private boat skipper and his crew for rescuing the 8 survivors from the water.

Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the missing man in this difficult time.

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