Three fishermen remain missing after their boat apparently capsized some nautical miles offshore between Hawston and Kleinmond on the Western Cape coast, the NSRI said. File photo: NSRI

HERMANUS - Three fishermen remain missing after their boat apparently capsized some nautical miles offshore between Hawston and Kleinmond on the Western Cape coast, the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) said on Saturday.

NSRI Hermanus, NSRI Kleinmond, and the EMS/AMS Skymed rescue helicopter were activated a few minutes before noon on Friday following reports from families of three Hawston fishermen suspected to be missing at sea between Hawston and Kleinmond, NSRI Kleinmond station commander Schalk Boonzaaier said.

"The sea rescue craft South Star and Jaytee III were launched and a sea and shoreline search was joined by the EMS/AMS Skymed rescue helicopter conducting an air search," he said.

Flotsam from the casualty boat was located off-shore between Hawston Harbour and Kleinmond, and during an ongoing search the Skymed helicopter located the fishermen's boat capsized seven nautical miles off-shore and south of Hawston. 

The sea rescue craft diverted to the location of the capsized boat, and righted and took the boat under tow.

"Despite an extensive search, no sign of the three fishermen, believed to be aged in their 30s and 40s, has been found, and police and the police dive unit are continuing in an ongoing search operation and investigations into the incident."

The casualty boat was towed to Hermanus Harbour and recovered and handed to the family members of the missing fishermen. Telkom Maritime Radio services assisted with VHF marine radio communications and an all ships alert had been posted, alerting ships in the area to remain on the look out for any sign of the three missing fishermen, Boonzaaier said.

African News Agency (ANA)