German tourist and crew member die in as luxury houseboat catches fire in KwaZulu-Natal
Two people died and one went missing after a fire broke out on a luxury houseboat on Sunday, 10 October 2021, in Jozini, northern KwaZulu-Natal. One of the people who died was a German tourist while the other was a crew member. A second member of the crew was still missing on Sunday afternoon. KZN police spokesperson Nqobile Gwala confirmed that inquest dockets had been opened at Jozini SAPS. “There were nine on the houseboat, four crew members and the other five were German tourists. She said, “The crew and guests dived into the Jozini Dam when the houseboat caught fire. Six people were able to swim to the shore back to safety, two bodies were recovered, one of a crew member and the other a guest. Another body has not been recovered.”
The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) said investigations were under way following the death of two people after a fire broke out on a luxury houseboat in Jozini.
SAMSA confirmed the incident in a statement, saying one crew member and one passenger had died. “The luxury houseboat known as Shayamanzi was reportedly on a two-night cruise on the Jozini Dam with four crew and five passengers. SAMSA, with other stakeholders including emergency services, will continue to monitor the situation and update the public as and when new information becomes available,” SAMSA said.
Shayamanzi said they would do everything possible to support the investigation. “As a long-established family-owned business, we are devastated and are doing everything possible to understand and support the investigation and impact on our guests, crew and their families,” said Shayamanzi.
The establishment offers luxury stays where guests can fish and enjoy a cruise experience on-board the houseboats.
According to the Shayamanzi website guests can experience the first houseboats in South Africa, the only ones of their kind. Guests can either fish or soak up the scenery of the Lebombo Mountains and superb wildlife of the Pongola Game Reserve on the shores of Lake Jozini, also known as Pongolapoort Dam.
Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs MEC Ravi Pillay said he was saddened by the incident. “I am deeply saddened by this incident and wish to convey my sincere condolences to the families and friends of those who are deceased,” said Pillay.
Pillay said he welcomed the investigation by the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA). “We believe it will help shed some light on the cause of the fire. We are also encouraged by the announcement made by the owners of the business that they will support the investigation."