One boat sinks, one washed onto rocks, 10 men rescued

 Ten fishermen were rescued at Die Poort, Arniston, yesterday afternoon before one boat sank and another washed ashore onto rocks.

A local speed boat Dor-Jaq rescued the men, five from each of the Chucky boats, Agulhas and Mrs H and brought them safely and uninjured ashore

Reinard Geldenhuys, NSRI Agulhas station commander, said  at 3.50 pm, NSRI Agulhas volunteer duty crew were activated following a request for urgent assistance. The crew  launched their rescue boat  Spirit of Winelands and the sea rescue vehicle, towing the rescue craft I&J Rescuer IV.  WC Government Health EMS, Overberg Fire and Rescue Services, towing a rescue rubber-duck, and the SA Police Services responded. Transnet National Ports Authority harbour officials and the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries officials were on hand to assist.

It appears Agulhas was caught in a channel and at risk of be swept onto rocks. The boat may have sustained motor failure.

The sister boat, Mrs H, went to her assistance.  While trying to tow Agulhas to safety, Mrs H also took on water and sustained damage to her transom  – probably by being engulfed by waves in the channel. Mrs H began to sink and the crew abandoned ship.

Mrs H is now adrift semi submerged and the Agulhas washed ashore onto rocks.

The owners will investigate salvage efforts and SAMSA (South African Maritime Safety Authority) are investigating the incident.

The crew of Dor-Jaq are commended for their swift reaction.

(Edited by St Francis Chronicle)


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