NSRI Hermanus duty crew were activated following a call from a commercial whale watching vessel reporting that they had come across a body adrift at sea approximately 1 nautical mile South of Hermanus Harbour. AND NSRI Simonstown duty crew were activated following reports of a man overboard and missing from a fishing vessel 11 nautical miles South of Cape Point.
Jean le Roux, NSRI Hermanus duty coxswain, said:
The SA Police Services were alerted while our sea rescue craft Rotarian Burnett was launched.
On arrival on the scene the body was located and recovered onto our sea rescue craft and brought to the Hermanus Harbour.
The body has been taken into the care of Police and Government Health Forensic Pathology Services.
Police have opened an inquest docket.
Families of persons believed to be missing at sea in the vicinity are notified to assist Police and Government Health Forensic Pathology Services with identification of the deceased.
Our thoughts are with those families in this difficult time.
Darren Zimmerman, NSRI Simonstown station commander, said:
NSRI Simonstown launched the sea rescue craft Donna Nicholas and NSRI Hout Bay duty crew were activated and they launched the sea rescue craft Nadine Gordimer.
The local fishing vessel that the fisherman had gone overboard from was engaged in a search and MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre) had tasked another local fishing vessel to assist in the search.
The fisherman had reportedly fallen overboard while they were laying fishing gear. The alarm was immediately raised and the skipper had turned the vessel around and they had initiated a search.
On the NSRI sea rescue craft arriving on the scene we found that the casualty vessel had sustained fishing rope fouled around her propellors and although she was unable to actively continue to assist in the ongoing search her crew were all on the lookout for their fellow ship mate.
The 2 NSRI sea rescue craft joined the second fishing vessel in an extensive search operation.
The crews of at least 7 fishing vessels that were in the vicinity at the time
were keeping a lookout for the missing fisherman.
Despite an extensive search there remains no sign of the missing fisherman.
Our NSRI Simonstown and NSRI Hout Bay sea rescue craft returned to base in the early hours of the morning and local fishing vessels are continuing to keep a lookout for the missing fisherman.
Marine VHF radio communications were assisted by Telkom Maritime Radio Services.
The SA Police Services are notified and an investigation will be opened.
Our thoughts are with the family and the fellow crew of the missing fisherman in this difficult time.
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