PRETORIA, July 19 – President Jacob Zuma on Wednesday sent condolences after the fishing vessel tragedy off Cape St Francis which claimed the life of at least one fisherman, while eight more are still missing.
Search and rescue operations are continuing for the eight missing fishermen after the chokka boat, Maredon, with 16 crew on board, capsized off Thyspynt, near Cape St Francis, over the weekend,
Zuma sent his heartfelt condolences to the family of the one fisherman confirmed dead, while also conveying his support to the families of the fishermen still missing.
Zuma encouraged the team of rescue workers from the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) not to abandon the search until they found them.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families at this very dark and anxious hour,” Zuma said. “We would like to assure them that our emergency services teams will not rest until they find the missing members of their families. I wish the hospitalised fishers strength and a speedy recovery.”
An ongoing search and recovery operation by emergency services, headed by the Eastern Cape members of the South African Police Service, continued till late Tuesday, with none of the missing crew members being found at the close of the day.
During the early hours of Sunday morning, the NSRI St Francis Bay duty crew was activated at 3:30am following reports of red distress flares reported by Chokka vessels at sea.
“The Chokka fishing vessel Silver Eagle had witnessed the red distress flares at around 03h00 and raised the alarm, calling Telkom Maritime Radio Services and MRCC,” said Lambinon.
The Silver Eagle and Megalodon sailed to the scene and the Megalodon managed to recover one survivor from the water.
The Maredon was found capsized and hard aground at Sunset Rock.
One fishermen was recovered and confirmed to be deceased, seven survivors were recovered, of which six were hospitalised, while eight are still missing.
– African News Agency (ANA)