Cape Town -
Gregg Louw, the skipper and part owner of the Miroshga, is not happy with the findings of the SA Maritime Safety Authority’s (Samsa) investigation into the capsizing of his boat and says what happened was not the fault of his company or crew.
“It was nature which struck us out there. Everyone was kept dry as possible and then disaster struck. For us it was an accident.”
Louw, from Hangberg in Hout Bay, said he was doing his own investigation.
The Miroshga owners are Louw, business manager and skipper in charge of all matters relating to boat safety and crew training; Gert Strauss, in charge of operations, complying with Samsa regulations, logbooks and customer bookings; and Devon Pather, responsible for finance, marketing and sales.
“We tried every precaution. John (Roberts, crew member) didn’t lose his life doing nothing; he tried to get people to be calm.
“There were only 10 people on the boat when it capsized. The other people were in the water. The boat capsized at rescue; we were abandoning ship – that’s what we’re trying to get across.
“When John and the Brit (Peter Hyett) drowned there was a rescue boat and we were offloading people,” Louw said.
Asked about the many faults and deficiencies Samsa’s investigation had found on the Miroshga, Louw replied: “Well, it was Samsa who gave us the safety certificate. It was seaworthy.”
He admitted that he did not have an endorsement of his skipper’s licence allowing him to run a passenger vessel, but said had he had this qualification, it would have “made no difference”.
Louw said Roberts’s family bore him no ill feeling, as they had been happy when he had given the unemployed Rastafarian a job on the Miroshga.
He had sent e-mails to Hyett’s family. “We tried to contact them for condolences. We wrote e-mails but they said: ‘You were responsible for our father’s death.’ But for us it was an accident.”