Two fishermen drowned, one is missing and another was seriously injured after their boat capsized on Tuesday off the West Coast.
National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) spokesman Craig Lambinon said rescue staff were activated on Tuesday afternoon after reports of a small boat with four local fishermen onboard had capsized several hundred meters off-shore of Muisbosskerm between Lambert’s Bay and Elands Bay.
“On arrival on the scene a survivor from the boat was found ashore suffering severe hypothermia, and one body was located and recovered on the shore nearby,” he said.
Lambinon said the survivor was treated by Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and taken to hospital in a serious but stable condition, while on the scene a second body was found in shallow water.
EMS spokesman Robert Daniels said they received a call about a boat that had capsized with four people aboard late Tuesday. Daniels said the injured survivor was taken to Clanwilliam hospital.
Lambinon said a search continued late into the night for the fourth man, aged 63. There was no sign of him on Tuesday night. Local police and a police dive unit are continuing with the search on Wednesday.
He said the upturned, four-metre vessel was found and recovered after it had washed ashore. The bodies of the two dead men, both in their early 60s, have been taken into the care of the Forensic Pathology Services.
“The survivor, aged in his early 60s, confirmed that all four men were friends who regularly went fishing together and they had launched to go fishing, as usual, but had capsized in rough two-metre swell sea conditions,” he said.
Mymoena Poggenpoel, a member of the Kalk Bay fishing community, said it was very sad that yet more lives have been lost at sea.
“Coming from a fishing community, what happened affects all of us, whether you know the people that died or not. We care about each other and when we are in the sea, we are together,” she said.
Late last year 10 fishermen died after crew members abandoned ship when fishing trawler the Lincoln was swamped by swells of up to six metres about 30 nautical miles off Cape Hangklip.[Source: Cape Argus]