Crew sur­vives cap­size drama

Zululand Observer - Monday - - FRONT PAGE - Tam­lyn Jolly

THREE weary Sod­wana Bay hol­i­day mak­ers clung to the up­turned hull of their ski-boat for over four hours be­fore aban­don­ing it for a two hour swim to shore.

Ac­cord­ing to NSRI Richards Bay Sta­tion 19, Gaut­eng skip­per Etienne Fouche and his two crew mem­bers on the boat Salt­i­crack were cap­sized by a wave at 10.30am on Fri­day, about 3km off­shore of Diep­gat.

‘Sit­ting on the up­turned hull for over four hours, they drifted and kept be­ing washed off the hull, caus­ing them to be­come ex­hausted.

‘Notic­ing they were drift­ing south but not get­ting any closer to shore, one of the men dived un­der the boat to re­cover life jack­ets and they made the de­ci­sion to swim to shore.’

Af­ter a fam­ily mem­ber re­ported the men as miss­ing, iSi­man­gal­iso Wet­land Park staff, Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife field rangers, My Lady Char­ters and Coral Dive Char­ters ini­ti­ated a search.

My Lady Char­ters con­ducted a shore­line search in 4x4 ve­hi­cles and the men were found at about 6pm, safe and un­in­jured, walk­ing along the beach to­wards Sod­wana Bay.

On Satur­day morn­ing, iSi­man­gal­iso staff launched a shore­line search for Salt­i­crack while Ad­van­tage Char­ters con­ducted sea search pa­trols.

Newly es­tab­lished NSRI St Lu­cia Sta­tion 40 launched a pri­vate boat, to as­sist in the search.

Salt­i­crack was found washed ashore 13.8km south of Sod­wana Bay by iSi­man­gal­iso staff, who ar­ranged for re­cov­ery of the ves­sel.

The stricken boat was re­cov­ered but had suf­fered se­ri­ous dam­age

Etienne Fouche and his crew, HJ Swanepoel and Fran­cois van Wyk sur­vived the close call

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.