Search for missing fisherman off Betty’s Bay

A search will continue today for a 37 year-old man who disappeared underwater after falling off a boat off Betty’s Bay yesterday afternoon, 28 April.

Despite an extensive air, sea and shore search for the missing man, plus dive efforts by SAP divers yesterday evening, the man has not been found.  

It appears three men fell out of a boat they were fishing on when the boat hit a wave. The boat’s propellor went over one of the men’s legs 1 nautical mile off-shore of Stoney Point.

At 2.47 pm NSRI Hermanus and NSRI Gordons Bay volunteer sea rescue duty crews were activated following initial reports that two men fishing in a rubber duck were missing.

 A Letitia Singleton reported her husband Hannes and his friend Frikkie La Gransie, both from Kleinmond, had launched a rubber-duck from Kleinmond to go fishing at 8 am yesterday.  Later a man, Paul Fourie, reported their boat was going around in circles at full throttle off-shore of Betty’s Bay with neither men on board between De Wets Bay and Stoney Point .

 Fourie also alerted NSRI and gave coordinates of where he found the boat and that only one of the men’s cell phones was found on board and that this is how he had contacted Letitia.

 NSRI Hermanus responded by towing their rigid inflatable sea rescue craft to be launched on-scene. NSRI Gordons Bay also launched a sea rescue craft to and the Red Cross AMS helicopter Skymed, Police, Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services and WC Government Health EMS also responded. 

 On arrival the sea rescue boats began a search which led them to find the two men  waving frantically in the water and bring them ashore by boat. They were found just before 5 pm.

The men said their missing companion, a local man who helps them when they go fishing, disappeared under water relatively soon after they had fallen out of the boat. This prompted a full search of the area .

 Deon Langenhoven, NSRI Hermanus deputy station commander, said the two men were found when the Hermanus sea rescue boat  changed direction to head towards the Gordons Bay sea rescue boat.

The pair were treated on shore by paramedics and transported to hospital in Hermanus by EMS ambulance.  Frikkie had severe lacerations to his leg and ankle and he also had suspected fractured rib.  Both men suffered from hypothermia.

 (edited)

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