Ricochet News

Two fishermen die in Port Alfred boat accident

Aug 21, 2017
Two fishermen die in Port Alfred boat accident

Police in Port Alfred have opened an inquest docket after a boat capsized and two fishermen died over the weekend.

According to Keryn van der Walt, National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) Port Alfred duty coxswain, at 06h32, on Saturday, the NSRI Port Alfred duty crew were activated following reports of a boat capsized in the Kowie River Mouth (harbour entrance).

"The sea rescue craft Rescue 11 Alpha was launched and NSRI rescue swimmers were dispatched to the beach.

"Ndlambe Municipality officials, EC Government Health EMS, the SA Police Services, Ndlambe Fire and Rescue Services and Holistic ambulance services also responded," van der Walt said.

"On arrival on the scene the 26 foot Butt-Cat Hawaii, a commercial fishing boat, was found capsized and washed onto a sand bank in a strong rip current in the outgoing Spring Tide in 3 to 4 meter swells.

"Our sea rescue craft was used to hold the boat on the sand bank in strong rip currents before the casualty boat could be recovered to the beach."

An NSRI rescue swimmer was posted on the harbour wall to act as spotter during the operation. Two adult male survivors, one the skipper of the boat, were found safe on the beach and sadly one deceased adult male was located on the beach.

"Paramedics attended to the two survivors.

"The deceased man who was located on the beach was taken into the care of Police and the Forensic Pathology Services," van der Walt added.

"The two survivors have been transported to hospital by ambulance in stable conditions suffering from shock.

"It was confirmed that 4 men had been on the boat when she capsized while believed to be exiting the harbour mouth."

An extensive sea and shoreline search continued for the one missing man and Police cordoned off the area and Willem Nel, of the Ndlambe Municipality, assisted in conducting an extensive shoreline search using his official vehicle on the beach together with NSRI rescue swimmers and members of the emergency services while our sea rescue craft searched off-shore.

"During an extensive search operation the NSRI crew aboard the sea rescue craft spotted the fourth adult man found floating semi-submerged in the water 50 meters off-shore wearing a life-jacket and two NSRI rescue swimmers were deployed into the surf from the sea rescue craft and they recovered the man onto the beach but sadly he has been declared deceased by paramedics and the body of the deceased man has been taken into the care of Police and the Forensic Pathology Services," described van der Walt.

"All four fishermen of Hawaii are accounted for and they are all confirmed to be local commercial fishermen.

"NSRI and the emergency services extend Sincere Condolences to family, friends and colleagues of the two deceased fishermen."

The NSRI commend the quick response by emergency services and to police who assisted by cordoning off the area and to Willem Nel of the Ndlambe Municipality for his assistance in searching along the beach during this tragic accident.

Police have since opened an inquest docket.