Jeff Ayliffe – Cape Town correspondent – At 10h15 NSRI Agulhas, NSRI Hermanus, Metro Ambulance and RescueServices and Overberg Fire and Rescue Services were activated followingreports of the 36 foot Ge-Cat White Shark Projects capsized half anautical mile off-shore of Kleinbaai near Gansbaai with an estimated 19crew on-board (10 tourist and videography passengers and 9 crew).
Sea conditions were a South Easterly wind of 10 to 15 knots and approximately 2 metre swell.
NSRI Hermanus launched the rescue craft South Star and NSRI rescuevehicles were dispatched. The Overberg Fire and Rescue ServicesAllouette III helicopter and Metro Red Cross AMS helicopter, that wereat the time both engaged in a routine rescue exercise in Hermanus, werediverted to the scene. The Overberg and Overstrand Fire and RescueServices, Metro Ambulance and Rescue Services and the SA PoliceServices responded.
On arrival on-scene it was estimated that of 19 people on-board 17people had been rescued out of the water by local private boats and 5of the rescued had been taken to local doctors rooms by locals fortreatment for injuries sustained and 1 male was declared dead on thescene after extensive efforts by paramedics to resuscitate him wereterminated.
Of the 5 that sustained injuries it is estimated that 1 patient went byprivate transport to a hospital for a suspected fractured right footand some may have gone to hospitals for further treatment for injuriesby private transport but none of the victims were removed to hospitalsby ambulance.
Local boats brought in the remaining 2 passengers, both males, who were both declared dead on arrival by paramedics.
Uncertain that all passengers were accounted for a search continueduntil it was confirmed by the boat owners that there were a total of 19people on-board at the time of the accident and all 19 were accountedfor.
According to eye-witness reports the boat capsized after being unexpectedly broadsided by a large wave.
2 deceased males are Americans and 1 deceased male is Norwegian.
The NSRI commend the actions of local boats that rushed to assist thosein peril bringing to shore all passengers and crew of the capsized boat.
NSRI Hermanus rescue craft South Star is towing the casualty boat inthe capsized position to Gansbaai Harbour and are estimated, with acurrent towing speed of 2 knots, to arrive at the harbour at 18h00today.