The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) assisted in the rescue of five fishermen off of Lamberts Bay in the Western Cape on Tuesday.
NSRI Lamberts Bay duty crew received a distress call and report of a boat taking on water 6.5 nautical miles North West of Lamberts Bay.
The fishing boat reportedly struck a whale and sustained a large crack to its hull. The fishermen were forced to abandon the vessel but were fortunate to have a group of other fishing boats around.
Sea rescue craft Douglas Murray was deployed and would tow the recovered boat back to shore and return the five fishermen to land uninjured and unharmed.
“At 11h00, Tuesday, 28th May, NSRI Lamberts Bay duty crew were activated following reports from fishermen at sea on a fishing boat taking water after reportedly striking a whale while underway, 6.5 nautical miles North West of Lamberts Bay,” NSRI Lamberts Bay station commander Avril Mocke said.
“The five fishermen onboard the open fishing boat had transferred onto fellow fishing boats that were in the vicinity fishing together at the time and were confirmed to be safe.
“The sea rescue craft Douglas Murray was launched and we rendezvoused with the fishing boats 6.5 nautical miles off-shore.
“The casualty fishing boat had sustained a crack in the hull.
“We transferred the five fishermen onto our sea rescue craft and we took their casualty fishing boat under tow and towed the boat to Lamberts Bay where their boat was recovered.
“The five fishermen were not injured.
“The whale involved is believed to have continued on its way.
“We commend the fishermen who assisted on the scene.”
Tuesday proved to be a busy day for the NSRI crew in the ‘Diamond of the West Coast’. The NSRI received a call from a fishing boat suffering motor mechanical failure 7 nautical miles West of Lamberts Bay just after they returned the fishermen to shore.
“After the five fishermen were safely ashore we received a call for a fishing boat suffering motor mechanical failure 7 nautical miles West of Lamberts Bay with 4 fishermen onboard and they requested assistance,” Mocke added.
“We refuelled our sea rescue craft and rendezvoused with the fishermen finding them safe.
“A towline was rigged and we towed them to Lamberts Bay harbour without incident where their boat was recovered.
“The operation was completed at 17h00.”