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Fishing vessel captain missing after disaster at sea

Fishing vessel captain missing after disaster at sea

Niël Terblanché

THE skipper of the fishing vessel Resplendent, that is part Hangana Fishing Fleet, is still unaccounted for after the vessel sank while busy trawling for hake on the fishing grounds off the coast of Namibia on Tuesday.


The skipper declared an emergency at about 13:10 on Tuesday after one of the hull plates sprang loose causing the vessel to take on water through its holds at a very rapid pace.


Fishing vessels operating in the same area as the Resplendent responded to the emergency call and managed to rescue the entire crew of 27 men. The crew members were able to make it to safety after donning survival gear and boarding life rafts before the vessel disappeared under the waves.


Word among the fishing fraternity in Walvis Bay is that the vessel was working in fairly good weather and in a sea that was not uncommonly strong. It is said that the vessel went down extremely fast.


Hangana Fishing Fleet vessel sank skipper
Pictured: The hake trawler Resplendent while moored at the jetty of Hangana Fishing in Walvis Bay. – Photo: Contributed


A search has been launched for the missing skipper in the area where the vessel sank.


In the meantime the Ohlthaver & List Group by way of their spokesperson, Roux-ché Locke, confirmed that a distress call was received from the Resplendent at approximately 13:00 on Tuesday, 18 February 2020.


“All possible resources were deployed to facilitate a rescue mission as the crew is our top priority,” said Locke in an official O&L statement.


Members of the fishing community in Walvis Bay requested family and friends to keep the skipper in their prayers. The search for the missing captain will be called off after sunset.