THE search for two deckhands that tragically drowned as a result of a freak boating accident in Swakopmund on Wednesday morning has been called off because of adverse sea conditions.
The two men worked as fishermen on the ski-boat that capsized for a few seconds after it was hit by a freak wave in the small craft launching area in front of the Platz am Meer shopping centre at about 11:00.
The search was called off several hours after the incident and when the sea became too rough.
Members of the Namibian Police’s Sea Rescue Team and the Namibian Sea Rescue Institute of Namibia (SRIN) spent hours searching for the two men who fell out of the fishing boat as was about to run onto the shore after a fishing trip earlier on Wednesday morning.
Rescue swimmers used a drone to look for the missing men and at one stage a private pilot flew over the scene a few times with a helicopter to assist with the search.
According to the incident report provided by the Public Relations Division of the Namibian Police, the owner and skipper of the boat told investigating officers that he and two of his passengers were able to hold on the boat when it capsized. He further stated that the boat righted itself returned to an even keel almost immediately after but that the two other men were nowhere to be seen.
It is suspected that the two missing men drowned. The bodies have not been found yet.
The names of the two men that drowned and the three people that survived cannot be made public yet as the Namibian Police are still tracing the next of kin of one of the missing men.
Members of the Swakopmund neighbourhood watch and volunteer crime-fighting groups are however patrolling the beaches to the immediate north of the Platz am Meer shopping centre in the event that the bodies of the drowned men wash up on shore.