NSRI boat from Melkbosstrand Mens Health Rescuer

Cape Town - A massive search has saved two Cape fishermen in a night of drama.

The hunt began shortly before sunset late on Wednesday, as a cold front hit the west coast, after reports that two fishermen off Elands Bay had suffered motor failure on their small open boat.

The National Sea Rescue Institute’s Craig Lambinon said the men, Gert van Wyk, 45, and Victor Latola, 73, told the NSRI by cellphone they were were “reluctant to raise their anchor to try to paddle their boat ashore fearing currents would take them further out”.

Their cellphone then died.

A rescue craft was launched to search the Elands Bay coastline under difficult sea conditions.

By midnight, with still no sign of the two men, preparations began to alert an air force plane and a rescue helicopter to prepare for a search from first light.

But at about 1am search lights on the rescue craft picked up reflective tape on the men’s life jackets and a short while later they were found between Elands Bay and Lambert’s Bay, Lambinon said.

The two men were towed to Lambert’s Bay and reunited with their waiting families.

Cape Argus