By Bev Mortimer
A St Francis fisherman is still missing after falling overboard yesterday from a fishing charter boat about 2 -4 nautical miles from the Kromme River mouth yesterday, 28 December.
Despite continued searching by sea and air last night and this morning, he has not been found. SAMSA (South African Maritime Safety Authority) is assisting Police in an investigation that has been opened in this case.
The Police Dive Unit has been alerted. Police divers and Police K9 Search and Rescue have joined in the search.
NSRI station commander, Sara Smith, said at 8.13 pm St Francis Bay duty crew were activated following reports of the missing 36 year-old fisherman .
The sea rescue craft Spirit of St Francis II was launched and on arrival at the scene a search commenced. NSRI Jeffreys Bay launched their sea rescue craft Rescue 37 Alpha and NSRI Oyster Bay also launched the sea rescue craft Caltex Challenger III and they joined NSRI St Francis Bay in a sea search.
Transnet National Ports Authority and the SA Police Services were also activated and NSRI shore crews and Police conducted shoreline patrols. In addition MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre) diverted a fishing vessel to the area to assist in the search.
Telkom Maritime Radio Services are assisting with Marine VHF communications.
MRCC, NSRI EOC (Emergency Operations Centre) and NSRI St Francis Bay, NSRI Jeffreys Bay and NSRI Oyster Bay duty controllers assisted to plot search patterns.
This morning sea rescue craft from all 3 NSRI stations, NSRI St Francis Bay, NSRI Jeffreys Bay and NSRI Oyster Bay continued a sea search and aircraft flying in the area have been requested to keep a look out.
Telkom Maritime Radio Services are broadcasting marine VHF traffic alerts requesting vessels in the area to keep a look out. Lifeguards on duty along the coastline in the area have been tasked to do shoreline patrols.
The NSRI says: “Our thoughts are with the family and colleagues of the missing man in this difficult time.”
By Bev Mortimer