Search for a missing man after two boats collide, Hout Bay, Cape Town
A search is continuing five nautical miles off-shore of Hout Bay, Cape Town, where a local adult male, the skipper of a local ski-boat, remains missing despite an extensive search by NSRI Hout Bay, NSRI Kommetjie and local fishing boats on Sunday night, 2 May 2021. NSRI Hout Bay station commander Geoff Stevens said NSRI Hout Bay and NSRI Kommetjie were activated at 19h47, following eye-witness reports of red distress flares sighted out to sea between The Sentinel and Chapman’s Peak. At the same time reports were received of a boat collision. NSRI Hout Bay and NSRI Kommetjie dispatched sea rescue craft and on arrival on the scene it was found that two boats had collided. The South African Police Services, Law Enforcement, Western Cape Government Health EMS, Life Healthcare response paramedics and ER24 ambulance services were activated.
It appears that one boat may have been stationary in the water without navigational lights being displayed but this remains unconfirmed.
Sea Rescue vehicles from NSRI Hout Bay and from NSRI Kommetjie were dispatched to the shoreline to assist with communications and a shoreline search.
The sequence of events remains unclear but it appears that there were four local crew on one of the boats and following the collision they went overboard and two crew of the second boat went overboard.
Five men were rescued by one of the boats that was involved in the collision and one man, aged in his late 30s, the skipper of the stationary boat, was unaccounted for.
Local fishing boats, Fish Keeper, Cap Tuner II and Fish Tails that were in the area at the time, went to their aid and two of the casualties were transported to shore by one of the local fishing boats which returned to the scene and then transported the remaining three casualties and an NSRI paramedic to the shore. One man was transported to hospital by EMS ambulance in a stable condition.
Three sea rescue craft and the local fishing boats searched for the missing man but he remains missing. The two casualty boats were brought to Hout Bay harbour and they have both sustained significant damage.
A Police Dive Unit and Police Sea Borderline Control have joined NSRI Hout Bay in an ongoing search operation the next morning.
NSRI commend the local fishing community who assisted on the scene on Sunday night. Our thoughts are with the family of the missing man in this difficult time.
Source: Geoff Stevens, NSRI Hout Bay station commander