NSRI Knysna latest update: Crew members from foreign ship brought ashore

All 19 crew members of the foreign 165 meter rice bulk carrier container ship  Kiani Satu are being evacuated off the casualty ship in relays by NSRI Knysna and NSRI Wilderness sea rescue boats.

The first 9 crew members were brought safely ashore at 9.34 am.

Crew airlifted by helicopter from Kianu Satu that ran aground off Knysna on Friday, 8 August

Crew airlifted by helicopter from Kianu Satu that ran aground off Knysna on Friday, 8 August. Photo: NSRI

In the latest news update, NSRI Knysna says that once safely ashore the crew will be processed and handed into the care of Police and Tourism officials. “No injuries have been sustained. Environmental risks are being assessed by SAMSA (South African Maritime Safety Authority) and efforts will be made to salvage the ship,” the update said.

At 3.39 this morning NSRI Knysna volunteer sea rescue duty crew were activated by the Transnet National Ports Authority about the ship with 19 crew members on board believed to be Filipino and Ukranian nationals. 

NSRI Knysna volunteer duty crew members responded towing its sea rescue craft Jaytee Iii and Spirit Of KYC. NSRI Wilderness volunteer sea rescue duty crew were also activated and towed their sea rescue craft Spirit Of Rotary 100 and Serendipity .

Spirit of Rotary 100

Spirit of Rotary 100

The NSRI crews were ready to launch to rescue the 19 crew if that became necessary. The Red Cross AMS Skymed 2 helicopter at George Airport was also on high alert, accompanied by NSRI helicopter rescue swimmers to respond if necessary. ‘We are poised on the shore ready to spring into action if it becomes necessary,” the NSRI said.

The ship, sailing from Cape Town, last Port of call, to Gabon, appears to have run into motor mechanical problems yesterday. A tug boat, the Fairmont Glazier, was dispatched to assist but during the night, in 5 meter swells and gusting to 45 knot onshore Westerly winds the casualty vessel Kiani Satu dragged anchor and early this morning was lying about half a nautical mile off-shore. Her anchor is currently holding.

The ship’s captain was not willing to have his crew leave the ship earlier this morning. At that stage NSRI on-scene Commander Graeme Harding, NSRI Knysna station commander, was in agreement that unless the situation worsened it was unnecessary to evacuate crew in the dark under these sea conditions. 

Media are respectfully requested to not call NSRI by phone on the scene and to liaise only via NSRI Communications at 082 380 3800.

“This is a tense situation and our NSRI rescue resources on the scene cannot have communications tied up,” an NSRI said.

Further updates will follow this morning.

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