Local fishing boat the Lucerne aids in the rescue of 17 fishermen in Hout Bay

A local fishing boat helped rescue 17 fishermen in Hout Bay. File picture

A local fishing boat helped rescue 17 fishermen in Hout Bay. File picture

Published Jun 3, 2024


Cape Town - Seventeen fishermen who were stuck at sea after their boat suffered engine failure were reunited with their families at the weekend.

The National Sea Rescue Institute’s (NSRI) Hout Bay duty crew supported by members of other rescue teams responded to a distress call intercepted by the NSRI EOC (Emergency Operations Centre) late on Thursday evening.

NSRI spokesperson Craig Lambinon said the distress call intercepted by the NSRI EOC was from a local fishing vessel reported to be taking water 3 nautical miles offshore of Duiker Island, Hout Bay.

“It was determined that there were 17 fishermen on board the casualty fishing boat, a 28m steel hull longline fishing trawler.”

Lambinon said the fishing boat was taking water but managed to maintain its structural and navigational integrity, though with its motors cutting out before being restarted and then cutting out again, at intervals.

He said: “At times she was adrift and at times she was under way. NSRI Hout Bay duty crew responded to station 8 rescue base where the NSRI rescue craft Albie Matthews and Nadine Gordimer were prepared to be launched.

“NSRI Bakoven and NSRI Table Bay were also activated to respond to base to prepare NSRI rescue craft to launch to assist.”

According to the NSRI, another local fishing boat that was also in the area, fishing vessel Lucerne, diverted from its route to assist, and reached the casualty vessel.

“We believe they rafted alongside as a precaution and at times they were able to release the rafting when, at times, the casualty fishing vessel crew managed to get her motors running. During that stage various rescue teams including SAPS and the City of Cape Town’s Law Enforcement marine unit had all been alerted,” Lambinon said.

Armed with relevant information and the Good Samaritan fishing vessel at her side, rescue crews reached the casualty vessel where a towline was established and the NSRI rescue craft DHL Deliverer began to tow the fishing vessel towards the Port of Table Bay.

“We commend the skipper and crew of Lucerne for their assistance, the Telkom Maritime Radio Services, the TNPA Port Control duty controllers and the TNPA tugboat Blue Jay skipper and crew as well as all NSRI duty crew teams,” Lambinon said.