Three rescued at sea after 12-hour Cape Point ordeal

13 April 2018 - 11:50
By Andre Jurgens
Cape Point.
Image: Somboonyarit Cape Point.

Three men were found‚ cold and exhausted‚ huddled on the hull of their capsized boat early on Friday after spending more than 12 hours floating in the ocean off Cape Point.

The trio had departed from Miller’s Point late on Thursday to test overhauled motors‚ and while heading to Hout Bay were capsized by waves at about 7pm.

“Their capsize emergency kit was lost overboard… and they were unable to raise the alarm and they were unable to attract any attention from passing boats during the night because they had no emergency signalling devices‚ which had been lost overboard with their capsize kit‚” said National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) Simon's Town station commander‚ Darren Zimmerman.

“They were able to huddle on the upturned hull of the boat during the night while they drifted before being spotted and were then rescued early this morning by the crew of Tyler. They were all wearing life-jackets.”

The NSRI duty crew in Simon's Town were activated after learning that three men were rescued by Tyler – a charter fishing boat – which came across the 21-foot capsized boat Zeek about two nautical miles south of Cape Point.

Tyler‚ a 30-foot ski-boat‚ had departed Gordon’s Bay early on Friday with charter fishing guests on board. The three men were found to be severely cold after having spent the night huddled on the hull of their boat.

The casualties were brought to Simon's Town harbour and treated by the NSRI for non-fatal drowning symptoms and hypothermia before being taken to hospital.

Telkom Maritime Radio Services broadcast “an all ships alert” maritime navigational warning to warn vessels in the area of the capsized boat.

NSRI sea rescue boats Spirit of Safmarine III and Spirit of the Vines were attempting to right the capsized boat and tow it to shore. The boat owner took fresh clothing to his crew in hospital and hopes to recover Zeek.

The crew of Tyler were commended for their role in the rescue.