NSRI Hout Bay rescues small fishing boat lost in dense fog

A small fishing boat lost in dense fog was found and rescued by NSRI Hout Bay volunteers on Friday, 25 May.


The fishing boat is recovered at Hout Bay.  Photo: Lyall Pringle/NSRI

The three fishermen, adrift on the boat, were found 3 nautical miles off Soetwater near Kommetjie and towed by the NSRI volunteers to safety.

Lyall Pringle, NSRI Hout Bay station commander, says at 5.03 pm NSRI volunteers on duty were called out by Transnet National Ports Authority to assist a small fishing boat, with three local Hout Bay fishermen on board, lost in dense fog and believed to be in the vicinity of Cape Point.  “Our duty crew launched  Nadine Gordimer and Albie Matthews and a search commenced in dense fog for the boat.

NSRI Hout Bay Nadine Gordimer.


Nadine Gordimer off Hout Bay.

“The fishermen had only a vague idea of where they could be. This was based on their estimated compass direction that they had travelled from Hout Bay and the length of time and speed that they had been underway.

“The fishermen had run out of fuel and were adrift in 35 meters depth of water with only a 25 meter length anchor chain so the usual procedure of getting them to put to anchor and wait for the fog to lift was not an option.


The NSRI volunteers with the three fishermen and their family members who were waiting for them.  Photo: Lyall Pringle/NSRI

“We narrowed down the search area to between the shoreline and 3 nautical miles out to sea, between Kommetjie and Cape Point. While searching in this area we found the fishermen at approximately 10 pm off Soetwater (between Kommetjie and Cape Point). A tow-line was rigged and we towed them safely to Hout Bay harbour, arriving just after midnight.”

NSRI urges boaters to carry all safety equipment required including GPS (Global Positioning System) device and to check weather forecasts before launching particularly on the West Coast which sees dense fog conditions regularly during winter months.


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