01 July 2005

Skipper dies, 3 rescued after ski-boat capsizes off Cape Point

One man died and three were rescued when their ski-boat Motta capsized two nautical miles off Cape Point.

Simon's Town National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) station commander, Darren Zimmerman, said the four fisherman had struggled in three- to four-metre swells and a howling 25 knot southeaster.

The three surviving men sat on the hull, which drifted for 45 minutes before a private rubber duck picked them up.

The men waited anxiously for another three to four hours while the NSRI team tried to find the missing skipper, believed to be a resident of Ocean View.

Zimmerman said: "We deployed two rescue swimmers into the water to search under the upturned boat where they found the missing skipper trapped by debris and rope.

"He was presumed dead.

"Efforts to free the skipper from under the boat were unsuccessful and further efforts to right the boat were unsuccessful in the heavy chop and sea swells."

The vessel was towed to calmer waters where navy divers managed to cut the skipper free.

The three survivors, who are from Athlone, were brought back to NSRI Station 10 in Simon's Town harbour where Netcare paramedics declared them in shock but otherwise unhurt.

The cause of the accident is not known.

One of the fisherman said: "I don't know where I was when the water struck us." He and the other survivors were not identified.

Source: www.capetimes.co.za


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