Body of missing Strand fisherman found today

The body of a fisherman, missing after a boat capsized last night at Gordons Bay, was found today trapped in lines under a hull.

During an ongoing search operation for the man the upturned hull of the fishing boat was located drifting off-shore of Macassar, semi-submerged.

The deceased man had been with four friends fishing out at sea when the boat capsized. Three survivors were found yesterday holding the body of one of the group.

 A police dive team, assisted by Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services, scuba-dived and freed the body. The body was brought to Gordon’s Bay on the local NSRI sea rescue craft and handed over to Forensic Pathology Services.

Family and colleagues of the fisherman were informed and placed in the care of trauma counsellors.

All of the emergency services that responded and assisted in this extensive operation are commended for their efforts.

Recounting the incident yesterday, Edward Russouw, NSRI Gordons Bay deputy station commander, said at 9.22 pm 28 November NSRI was activated by the Transnet National Ports Authority following reports of red distress flares fired in the vicinity off-shore of Harbour Island. NSRI volunteer duty members launched the sea rescue craft Spirit of Surfski II and an ambulance was put on standby.

A sea search commenced in a gale force South Easterly, on-shore wind. A torch light was spotted flashing in the distance and ¾ of a nautical mile off-shore of Harbour Island, the crew aboard the sea rescue craft located a capsized Snoek fishing boat with three men clinging onto the upturned hull. They were holding onto the body of a man.

The body and the three survivors were taken on board the sea rescue craft and brought to shore. Paramedics treated the  survivors for hypothermia/ and the body of the deceased fisherman was given to Forensic Pathology Services.

The survivors related that that a 5th fisherman, wearing a life-jacket, had drifted away from the upturned boat in the strong winds.

A shoreline search commenced. WC Government Health EMS rescue squad, Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services, Law Enforcement Marine Unit and the City of Cape Town Disaster Risk Management Operations responded with lighting vehicles and extra personnel to assist in a shoreline search and to light up the shoreline.

The shoreline search included emergency services using tactical lighting equipment and tactical vehicles to illuminate the shore front while rescuers searched along the shoreline in among rocks and shallow surf.

A Police Dive Unit was placed on alert.

Family of the fishermen arrived at the sea rescue base and police arranged Police trauma counsellors to care for them.

A Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services Pastor also joined the trauma counsellors.

The surviving fishermen said the boat capsized while the five firnds from the Strand were returning from a day’s fishing trip. There were strong winds at the time.

Despite an extensive search no sign of the 5th man was found last night.

Police opened an inquest docket.

Edited by St Francis Chronicle

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