Brad Geyser, NSRI Hout Bay station commander, said; “At 15h48 on Monday 5 September NSRI Hout Bay and NSRI Table Bay sea rescue stations were placed on alert following a request for assistance from the 18.5 meter Long Line Fishing Trawler HERMAN S reporting to be approximately 40 nautical miles off-shore of Cape Town with 20 crew onboard and rope fouled around her propellors and the crew were unable to get the rope free from the propellors.
“Unable to continue fishing because of the rope fouled around her propellors and unable to retrieve two of her fishing long lines that were currently deployed in the water as the vessel has to be underway in order to be able to retrieve the lines, the skipper reported all crew onboard to be safe and in no imminent danger but they required assistance to either free the rope or to be towed to the nearest safe port.
“NSRI Hout Bay volunteer duty crew launched our 7.3 meter rigid inflatable sea rescue craft ALBIE MATTHEWS accompanied by a salvage dive master (arranged by the vessels owners) and NSRI Table Bay launched their 13 meter deep sea rescue craft SPIRIT OF VODACOM.
“On arrival on-scene our NSRI Hout Bay sea rescue team found all 20 crew safe but their vessel was found to be rendered useless by the rope that was fouled around her propellors. The diver was deployed into the water and in an hour long dive operation, using cutting equipment, all rope was successfully cut free from the HERMAN S propellors.
“Once free of the rope and with the HERMAN S underway again and busy recovering her long lines before beginning her return to Hout Bay we requested the NSRI Table Bay sea rescue boat to turn around and return to her base (prior to her arriving on-scene).
“Our NSRI Hout Bay sea rescue RIB is returning to Hout Bay in good sea conditions and they are expected to arrive at approximately 24h30 and we expect the HERMAN S to arrive home in the early hours of tomorrow morning.
“As a precautionary measure our sea rescue stations will stay on high alert until the casualty craft returns safely to port.”