One man was declared dead, another is in a critical condition and a third is lost at sea after the boat they were in capsized near Simon’s Town on Thursday at midday.
According to a report from the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI), they were informed about a capsized boat adrift off-shore near Simon’s Town by the SA Navy Patrol at around 4pm on Thursday afternoon.
On investigation, the NSRI Simon’s Town duty crew found that three local men, who had left in a boat at around midday from Kalk Bay, were missing.
“The sea rescue craft Spirit of Surfski II was launched to join the SA Navy Patrol boat searching for the 3 men and NSRI Kommetjie and NSRI Strandfontein launched sea rescue craft and the EMS/AMS Skymed rescue helicopter, WC Government Health EMS rescue squad and ambulance, CMR ambulance services, ER24 ambulance services, Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services and their Fire Dive Unit, a Police Dive Unit, the SA Police Services and Law Enforcement responded to join in a search in 25 knot North Westerly winds and rough sea conditions and NSRI ASR (Airborne Sea Rescue) were placed on high alert,” said NSRI Simon’s Town station commander, Darren Zimmerman.
They conducted an extensive air, sea and shoreline search and found two men clinging to a floatation buoy at sea. They were swiftly rescued.
“Sadly one of the men was declared deceased and one man was transported to hospital in a critical condition suffering hypothermia and he has been stabilised and is recovering in hospital,” said Zimmerman. “Despite the extensive search no sign of the third man has been found and a Police Dive Unit are tasked to continue in a ongoing search operation.”
Preliminary investigations suggest that the boat capsized at around midday and the men were swept out to sea. The cause of the incident is unknown at this stage.
The search for the man lost at sea is ongoing. The SA Navy ship SAS Protea joined in to assist NSRI Simon’s Town and NSRI Kommetjie, together with Fire and Rescue services divers, to recover the capsized boat.
“Police have opened an inquest docket that will run in conjunction with a SAMSA (South African Maritime Safety Authority) investigation into this tragic incident,” Zimmerman concluded.
NSRI expressed their sincere condolences to family, friends and colleagues of the deceased man and their thoughts are with the family, friends and colleagues of the missing man.