9 Divers Rescued from Sinking Duck

www.MyPE.co.za: Ian
Gray, NSRI Port Elizabeth station commander said: “On Monday 8 March at
20h28 NSRI Port Elizabeth duty crew were activated by the Transnet
National Ports Authority following a request for urgent assistance from
a 7 metre rigid inflatable rubber duck, with 9 local men on-board,
reporting to be taking water 4.5 nautical miles West of Cape Recife, 1
Nautical Mile off-shore, (12 Nautical Miles from our NSRI rescue base),
in 3 to 5 metre swells.

“Our NSRI duty crew launched our 5.5
metre rigid inflatable rescue
craft Eikos Rescuer I, with our NSRI duty coxswain and 3 NSRI duty crew
on-board, and on arrival in the search area white illuminating flares
were used to find the casualty craft who’s skipper had reported to have
no battery power to his craft and only one torch to use as a signalling
means.

“Following a brief search the casualty craft was found semi-submerged
and all 9 men, 8 of whom were wearing wet-suits, were transferred
on-board our rescue craft and they were brought safely to our rescue
base where they required no further assistance.

“Daniel Heimann, NSRI Port Elizabeth duty coxswain, said that according
to the skipper of the casualty craft his boat had become heavy laden
with water from unknown means and as the craft got lower in the water
she started to take water over the bow causing battery and motor
failure and causing the boat to begin sinking forcing the men to call a
distress.

“Daniel said that the craft was left at anchor, semi-submerged, with
all her gear on-board, including dive cylinders and breathing apparatus
sets, after the men were taken on-board the NSRI rescue craft but a
Police helicopter that later searched for the location of the boat, in
the vicinity of where it was left, found no sign of the semi-submerged
casualty craft and her fate is unknown.

“The NSRI‘s mission is to save lives at
sea and under the circumstances
the casualty craft and her gear could not be brought back to shore with
her crew.

“The casualty craft’s owner will attempt to find the semi-submerged
boat at day break.”

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