Cape Town – “I am prepared for anything, better or worse.”
These are the words of Kamiela Rasdien, whose husband Mogamat Ganief, 47, from Hout Bay is among the six fishers who remain missing after their inflatable boat capsized near Clifton last week.
The last time she saw Ganief was on Wednesday night at about 9pm when he left for fishing in the hope that he would come back with something to put on the table for the family as he usually did.
“I am praying that they find them alive but if God decided to do otherwise then us as people, there is nothing we can do,” she told the Cape Times yesterday.
The SA Air Force was deployed on Thursday to assist with the search, after rescuers recovered the body of a man believed to be from the boat.
According to the police, two boats launched from Hout Bay with 13 people on them. One of the boats started filling with water, “and the crew jumped over to the other boat”. The second boat apparently capsized with all 13 people on board.
Two people were treated for severe hypothermia last week and six are still being sought. The remaining fishers were found safe.
Rasdien said the family’s circumstances led her husband to go fishing.
“I am unemployed and he is a fisherman; we have four kids together. He’s been a fisherman for 17 years.”
Roscoe Jacobs, a family member of one of the missing men, Brentino Brink, called for the community to unite.
“It was not too long ago when one of our community members went missing at sea. I was approached by my auntie saying that we should have a memorial service for the missing fishermen and I said we shouldn’t do a memorial because they are not yet confirmed dead by doctors or police.
“This is something happening continuously in our community,” Jacobs said, adding the government had failed to assist the community in sustaining themselves.
He said youth unemployment also played a role in people going out to fish in dangerous conditions.
“The department should also address the issue of youth unemployment. We used to have fisheries programmes in the community that (have) ceased to exist and we want this type of programme to continue to happen; we want young people to be capacitated.
“We are engaged with the NSRI regarding the programmes we want for fisheries, but when the time is right we will start coming up with ideas,” he said.
Other families were too emotional to speak to media, and could not provide the names of the other fishers.
Police spokesperson Noloyiso Rwexana said there were no new developments. “Six missing men are still being sought,” she said.
SANDF spokesperson Mpho Mathebula said that after a second rescue attempt where no one was found, the SA Air Force operation was called off.
NSRI spokesperson Craig Lambinon said a search operation was continuing, with no sign of the missing fishers
“The police dive unit are continuing in a search for six missing fishermen who went missing on Thursday after the boat they were on got (into) difficulties between Oudekraal and Clifton. There remains no sign of the missing men.
“NSRI Melkbos, Strand and Yzerfontein are tasked to keep a lookout,
and we will assist police in the search efforts.
“Ships at sea are requested to keep a lookout; law enforcement officers patrolling the coastline are tasked to keep (vigilant),” said Lambinon.
Department of environment, forestry and fisheries spokesperson Zolile Nqayi referred queries to the police.