Body of miss­ing Sharks Board crew­man found

Zululand Observer - Monday - - ZO NEWS - Tam­lyn Jolly

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

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