NSRI Shelley Beach, NSRI Port Edward and Police Search and Rescue were activated following reports of a scuba diver missing during a dive at the Northern Pinnacle, Protea Banks on the South Coast.
The body of a man, believed to have been bitten by a shark, was later recovered.
According to fellow divers among a group on a charter scuba dive, they had been surfacing from a dive when they realised one of their group had disappeared.
NSRI spokesperson Craig Lambinon said the NSRI Shelly Beach sea rescue craft Caltex Challenger and Spirit of Dawn, the NSRI Port Edward sea rescue craft Wild Coast Sun Rescuer and a Police Search and Rescue boat launched to join a search operation already underway by multiple private boats.
“On arrival on the scene a co-ordinated search, assisted also by the Transnet National Ports Authority, Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre, NSRI Durban and Telkom Maritime Radio Services, continued.”
He said the SAPS, Medevac ambulance services and Hibiscus Fire and Rescue Services also responded to standby at the NSRI Shelly Beach base.
A Natal Sharks Board fixed wing aircraft was placed on alert and an SA Air Force 15 Squadron Augusta helicopter activated.
Lambinon said an extensive drift pattern and sweeping line search operation was conducted utilising the three sea rescue craft, the Police Search and Rescue boat, private boats, private fishing boats, and charter boats and Police divers conducted a scuba dive search.
During the search the remains of the body of the man, believed to have been bitten by a shark, were located by crew of a private fishing boat. The remains were recovered and brought to shore.
“The remains of the body of the man, a 68-year-old German citizen, have been taken into the care of the Forensic Pathology Services and police have opened an inquest docket,” said Lambinon.