Body of missing Sharks Board crewman found
THE body believed to be that of missing Richards Baybased Sharks Board crewman Siyabonga Gabela, was found on Saturday.
Gabela had been missing, presumed drowned, since the boat on which he and four fellow crewmen were working, capsized nearly two weeks ago.
A local fisherman reportedly spotted the body floating near the pier at Alkantstrand late on Saturday afternoon.
NSRI Station 19 duty crewmen were notified and headed out to retrieve the body.
The crew’s boat capsized in rough seas on 8 August while they were carrying out routine servicing of the Newark Beach shark nets.
City of uMhlathuze Chief Sports and Recreation Officer, Shakir (Shakes) Hiraman, witnessed the tragedy and immediately changed into his lifeguard gear and swam out with torpedo buoys and other rescue equipment.
He first pulled skipper Richard Gumede out of the water, but he was declared dead at the scene.
Hiraman then rescued the two survivors, Eric Buthelezi and S’Qiniseko Ngobese, who were expected to return to work today (Monday).
They had been entangled in the nets but managed to reach the safety of the upturned boat.
The body of Mandla Gumede, the second crewman to be declared dead at the scene, was retrieved by NSRI duty crew.
Intensive sea and beach searches ensued, but there was no sign of Gabela’s body until Saturday.
The five Richards Bay-based KZN Sharks Board employees servicing shark nets earlier this year Dave Savides