NSRI teams poised to act if large foreign ship runs aground

A foreign 165 meter rice carrier, bulk container ship  Kiani Satu Is at risk of running aground at Walker Bay, Buffels Bay, between Knysna and Sedgefield this morning and NSRI teams, plus a helicopter are ready to spring into action.

The ship with 19 crew members on board believed to be Filipino and Ukranian nationals is reported to have suffered mechanical difficulties . The trawler is lying about half a nautical mile off-shore. Her anchor is currently holding.

At 3.39 this morning , 8 August NSRI Knysna volunteer duty crew were activated by the Transnet National Ports Authority about the trawler. The NSRI crews are ready to launch to rescue the 19 crew if that becomes necessary.

The Red Cross AMS Skymed 2 helicopter at George Airport is 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,” NSRI Knysna said.

Following the call from Transnet National Ports Authority, NSRI Knysa responded towing its sea rescue craft Jaytee Iii and Spirit Of KYC. NSRI Wilderness volunteer sea rescue duty crew were also activated and have towed their sea rescue craft Spirit Of Rotary 100 and Serendipity .

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. 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. 

At this stage all crew on board the ship are safe and decisions on further action are being assessed.

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. NSRI do not have photographs at this stage.


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