Ricochet News

Search continues after Chokka fisherman goes overboard off-shore of the Tsitsikamma

Dec 23, 2017
Search continues after Chokka fisherman goes overboard off-shore of the Tsitsikamma

Authorities are continuing with search operations where a Chokka fisherman went overboard in the waters off-shore of the Tsitsikamma coastline.

According to Sarah Smith, National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) St Francis Bay station commander, at 07h49, on Friday, the NSRI St Francis Bay duty crew were activated by the Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) following a report of a fisherman overboard the Chokka fishing boat Sea Cat off-shore of Tsitsikamma.

“It appears that sometime during the night the 31 year old fisherman, from Oyster Bay, may have gone overboard after he was noticed to be missing from the at anchor Chokka fishing boat early this morning and at 06h15 MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre) were notified after the crew of Sea Cat had raised the alarm alerting Telkom Maritime Radio Services,” described Smith.

“Our NSRI St Francis Bay sea rescue craft Spirit of St Francis II was launched immediately and NSRI Plettenberg Bay, NSRI Port Elizabeth and NSRI Oyster Bay were placed on alert and NSRI notified the SA Air Force in case aerial support could be launched.”

She added that NSRI Plettenberg Bay prepped the sea rescue craft Leonard Smith, extra fuel was arranged, and the NSRI Plettenberg Bay duty crew stood by and ready to launch while awaiting feedback from NSRI St Francis Bay.

“We also alerted friends and holidaymakers living and on holiday along the Tsitsikamma coastline in that vicinity to assist from the land side with a shoreline search while we also investigating the possibility of any aircraft flying along that stretch of coastline to assist with an aerial search.

“A private fixed wing aircraft, flying from Plettenberg Bay to St Francis Bay, volunteered to assist and joined in a search,” she added.

“It appears that no other vessel in the area at the time had joined in a search and NSRI believe that an all ships alert has been posted by Telkom Maritime Radio Services alerting sea traffic in the vicinity to be on the look-out.”

On arrival on the scene our sea rescue craft conducted an extensive search that was assisted by the private aircraft but no sign of the missing fisherman has been found.

“The SA Police services from SAPS St Francis Bay and SAPS Kareedouw assisted and Police have notified and counselled family in Oyster Bay although it is believed that the father of the missing man and brothers of the missing man are fishermen onboard the Chokka boat Sea Cat,” Smith said.

“Police will continue in an ongoing search operation and the Police Dive Unit have been notified and Police have opened an investigation.”