05 July 2005

Family identifies body of Hawston fisherman lost at sea

The body of one of the two Hawston fishermen whose boat lost power and drifted into choppy seas at the weekend has been identified by his family.

Saul "Solly" Booysen, 34, the skipper of the skiboat Mtombi, was found floating in his lifejacket 1.8 nautical miles off Cape Point Nature Reserve on Sunday. Awie (Abraham) Tim, 26, also from Hawston, is still missing.

This was the second fatal ski-boat accident in the same vicinity in a week. Last week on Thursday one man died and three were rescued when their ski-boat Motta capsized two nautical miles off Cape Point.

Booysen and Tim had been in cellphone contact with the National Sea Rescue Institute for a few hours on Saturday after Booysen's boat, equipped with a 60 horsepower engine, lost power near the Hawston Reef between Hawston and Kleinmond just after dawn.

The two men were unsure of their location and, within a few hours, cellphone contact had been lost. Booysen's younger brother, Colin, said he and a friend, Hendrik Bredenkamp, went searching for the missing boat on Saturday morning, but had no luck.

"I spoke to him (Sollie Booysen) on Saturday morning, but his phone began to lose signal. I'm not sure if it was reception or battery power, but we couldn't reach him after 1pm," he said. The NSRI's search resumed on Sunday morning.

The capsized Mtombi was found on Sunday morning, drifting 30 nautical miles from Hawston Reef towards Buffels Bay, south-east of Cape Point. It was towed into Buffels Bay by NSRI Simon's Town.

Although the official search with seven rescue vessels, two helicopters and an airforce aircraft has been called off, "the authorities and local boats must be on the lookout for what the ocean may deliver over the next few days", said NSRI spokesman Craig Lambinon.

Booysen is survived by his partner Alison, their children Saul, 7, and Tarren, 4, sisters Margaret January, Maureen Adams, and brothers Jude, Paul, Freddy and Colin. The grieving siblings buried their mother just a month ago.

Source: www.capetimes.co.za and www.iol.co.za


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