The search for three fisherman lost at sea off Kleinmond near Hermanus in the Western Cape is ongoing according to the National Sea Rescue Institute.
The families of the men reported their disappearance on Friday activating two rescue boats and the EMS/AMS Skymed rescue helicopter.
Rescuers were able to locate the fishing boat the men had gone out to see in but the vessell had been capsized and there was no sign of the fishermen in the surrounding waters.
“At 11h53, Friday, 17th May, NSRI Hermanus, NSRI Kleinmond and the EMS/AMS Skymed rescue helicopter were activated following reports from families of three Hawston fishermen suspected to be missing at sea between Hawston and Kleinmond,” said NSRI Kleinmond station commander Schalk Boonzaaier.
“The sea rescue craft South Star and Jaytee III was launched and a sea and shoreline search was joined by the EMS/AMS Skymed rescue helicopter conducting an air search.
“Flotsam from the casualty boat was located off-shore between Hawston harbour and Kleinmond and during an ongoing search the Skymed helicopter located the fishermen’s boat capsized 7 nautical miles off-shore and South of Hawston.
“Our sea rescue craft diverted to the location of the capsized boat and righted and took the casualty boat under tow.”
The South African Police Service continue to search for the men and have deployed their dive unit to aid the search. The boat was towed to shore and handed over to the families.
“Despite an extensive search no sign of the 3 fishermen, believed to be aged in their 30’s and 40’s, has been found and Police and the Police dive unit are continuing in an ongoing search operation and investigations into the incident,” Boonzaaier added.
“The casualty boat was towed to Hermanus harbour and recovered and handed to the family members of the missing fishermen.
“Telkom Maritime Radio services assisted with VHF marine radio communications and an all ships alert has been posted alerting ships in the area to remain alert for any signs of the three missing fishermen.”
Thoughts are with the families in this difficult time.