At 07h13 NSRI Yzerfontein and NSRI Table Bay were alerted by the Transnet National Ports Authority to respond to 9 nautical miles West of Dassen Island following a distress call from the fishing trawler Tiger Reef reporting to be taking water with 13 crew on-board.
NSRI Yzerfontein dispatched their rescue craft Rotary Onwards and NSRI Table Bay dispatched their rescue craft Spirit of Vodacom. A Titan/NSRI helicopter rescue team were placed on alert.
Maritime Radio Services broadcast an all ships alert and the fishing vessels Kingklip, JoAnne and Potsberg, who were in the area at the time responded to the scene to assist.
NSRI Yzerfontein station commander, Andre Nel, said that on their arrival on-scene the casualty vessel was lying heavy in the water in rough sea conditions in a 4 metre swell and 10 to 15 knot Southerly wind.
Andre said that all 13 crew were found to be safe and they were using water buckets to extricate water from the vessel.
Andre said that the skipper of the casualty vessel reported that their water extrication pumps were not working and the NSRI transferred an NSRI engineer on-board the casualty vessel but the water pumps could not be started.
Andre said that the NSRI rescue craft then transferred 4 crew from Kingklip onto the casualty vessel, all with buckets, and they assisted the casualty crew to bail water.
On the arrival of NSRI Table Bay’s rescue craft an NSRI water extrication pump was set up and the ingress of water was stemmed from the casualty vessel.
Ian Gross, NSRI Table Bay deputy station commander, said that extra fuel was transferred onto the casualty vessel, from the NSRI rescue craft, and the casualty vessels own water extrication pumps managed to be started.
Ian said that there was no necessity to take any of the casualty crew off the casualty vessel as with all water pumps working the vessel was no longer in danger of sinking.
Ian said that it was then arranged for the fishing trawler Kingklip to take up the tow of the casualty vessel and NSRI Yzerfonteins rescue craft was used to transfer a tow-line between Kingklip and Tiger Reef.
Ian sad that once the tow-line was secured the tow began and the vessels headed towards the Port of Cape Town while NSRI Table Bay’s rescue craft escorted the tow.
NSRI Yzerfontein’s rescue craft and the fishing trawlers JoAnne and Potserg were relieved from duty.
Ian said that during the tow towards the Port of Cape Town NSRI Melkbosstrand launched a rescue craft to take extra fuel out to the scene for the Tiger Reefs water pumps.
This operation, of transferring fuel, was completed successfully.
Ian said that NSRI Table Bay’s rescue craft then returned to base to uplift extra water extrication pumps and a salvage team and these have been successfully delivered to the casualty vessel which is currently lying 1 nautical mile off-shore of Robben Island.
The casualty vessel is due into port at the Port of Cape Town this afternoon. All 13 crew remain safe and no-one was injured.
NSRI Table Bay’s rescue craft Spirit of Rotary remains on-scene.
The cause of the casualty vessel taking on water will be investigated by SAMSA (the South African Maritime Safety Authority).
At 08h50 NSRI Stillbay launched their rescue craft following eye-witness reports of a fishing vessel suspected to have run aground at Ystervarkpunt, 8 nautical miles from Stillbay.
Enrico Menezies, NSRI Stillbay station commander said that on arrival on-scene it was determined that altough a boat was seen close in-shore it had in fact not run aground and had since left the area.
It was confirmed that this was a false alarm with good intentions.
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