Graeme Harding, NSRI Knysna station commander, said; “On 20 May at 10h02 NSRI Knysna volunteers were activated following reports of a fishing ski-boat capsized in the Knysna Heads, with 6 local fishermen onboard, while returning to Knysna from fishing at sea.
Our NSRI Wilderness volunteer duty crew launched our sea rescue craft and responded to the scene, and the SA Police Services, Metro EMS ambulance service, the Metro EMS Red Cross AMS helicopter and private ambulance services responded to stand-by at our sea rescue base at Knysna.
On arrival on scene all 6 fishermen were recovered from the sea onto our NSRI sea rescue craft and Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) efforts were initiated on two of the fishermen but after all efforts to resuscitate these two fishermen were exhausted they were declared dead by doctors on the scene.
The remaining 4 fishermen have been transported to hospital by ambulances in stable but serious conditions.
The bodies of the two deceased fishermen have been handed into the care of the Forensic Pathology Services.
SAMSA (The South African Maritime Safety Authority) have been alerted and have begun investigations into the cause of the accident and it has not been concluded at this stage as to what caused the boat to capsize. At the request of SAMSA NSRI Knysna re-launched our sea rescue craft to return to the scene to salvage the capsized boat, a 26 foot Butt-Cat. Our Knysna sea rescue volunteers towed the upturned vessel (in the capsized position) to shore where it has been handed over to SAMSA officials.
Police have opened an inquest docket.
It appears that the boat was returning to Knysna, through The Heads, fully laden with fish when it capsized in swells in The Heads.
Sea conditions are relatively flat and calm but the conditions in The Heads itself are rough.”
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