Shock, sadness over missing fishermen near Hout Bay


Barbara Creecy, Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, expressed her shock and sadness at the 11 fishermen who are missing after their boat sank.

The deep-sea fishing trawler got into trouble and sank on Friday, about 30 nautical miles from the Atlantic coast in the vicinity of Hout Bay.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the missing fishermen and their families as we await news of the search and rescue operation,” Creecy said. She expressed her gratitude that nine fishermen could be saved.

The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) received an emergency call at 15:40 that the fishing trawler was sinking. All ships in the area were immediately asked to assist and at least five fishing boats helped comb the search area.

A total of nine of the 20 crew members were found overnight on a lifeboat and taken on board one of the fishing vessels. They are not injured.

Alan Winde, Premier of the Western Cape, said his office had reached out to offer the necessary support.

“I was incredibly grateful to hear that nine crew members were successfully rescued. I keep both the rescue teams and those still missing in my thoughts. I also think of the families and loved ones of those who are missing.”

A large-scale search continues for the missing fishermen. More NSRI vessels were deployed and the police’s diving unit, Western Cape disaster management, the emergency services and law enforcement agencies, among others, were put on standby.

The Transnet Port Authority, Port Control and NSRI control rooms also assisted the Maritime Rescue Coordination Center in handling the logistics and coordination of the rescue operation.

Three vessels from the NSRI along with the fishing boats, an airplane and a helicopter participated in an extensive search for the 11 missing fishermen in rough sea conditions. Both lifeboats of the fishing trawler have since been recovered.

All ships in the area were asked to continue to be on the lookout for the missing fishermen.