Picture: NSRI KwaZulu-Natal

Richards Bay - A commercial fisherman died and five others managed to reach the shore when a ski-boat capsized off Mtunzini near Richards Bay in KwaZulu-Natal on Friday, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) said.

NSRI Richards Bay duty crew were activated just before 8am on Friday following reports of a 21-foot commercial fishing ski-boat capsized 1.5 nautical miles off-shore of Mtunzini main beach with six crew members on board, NSRI Richards Bay duty coxswain Norman Rautenbach said.

The NSRI sea rescue craft Spirit of Round Table II was launched, while the NSRI rescue vehicle, ambulance services, police and a police search and rescue unit, and fire and rescue services responded, he said.

"On arrival on the scene, it was initially suspected [that] two of six crew who were on the boat when it reportedly capsized were still missing and four crew were on the shore, where sadly, one crew member, a 41-year-old local man, was confirmed to be deceased."

It was then confirmed that the two men reported to be missing were both safe ashore, bringing all crew on board accounted for. Two of the five survivors were transported to hospital by ambulance and were in a stable condition, Rautenbach said.

South African Maritime Safety Authority (Samsa) officials were on the scene to investigate the cause of the incident, in cooperation with the South African Police Service. An inquest docket had been opened.

The NSRI, police, and the emergency services expressed condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of the deceased fisherman. The NSRI righted the capsized boat at sea and towed it ashore, where it had been taken into the care of police and Samsa officials, he said.
African News Agency/ANA