File picture: Supplied/NSRI.

ST LUCIA - A spear fisherman is believed to have drowned near St Lucia on the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast, the National Sea Rescue Institute said on Sunday.

NSRI St Lucia duty crew were activated shortly after 3pm on Saturday afternoon following reports of a free dive spear fisherman missing off-shore of Cape Vidal, NSRI St Lucia station commander Jan Hoffman said.

"Our Discovery Rescue Runner was towed to Cape Vidal and launched. We rendezvoused with the crew of a dive boat who confirmed that the 38-year-old Pietermaritzburg spear fisherman had been located deceased and recovered after reportedly suffering a fatal drowning accident."

The South African Police Service were alerted and an inquest docket had been opened. 

"Condolences are conveyed to family and friends of the deceased man," Hoffman said.

African News Agency (ANA)