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No closure for family of heroic sea captain

No closure for family of heroic sea captain

Niël Terblanché

A DEATH certificate will be the only form of closure that the family of Captain Carlo Gordon will receive after all efforts to find the missing skipper of the Resplendent have been abandoned three weeks after the fishing trawler sank in the cold Atlantic Ocean.

 

“There will now never be a grave for my brother. Nothing to connect us with him. Not even a piece of wood from the boat,” said Ryan Gordon.
 Ryan said the past three weeks has been extremely hard on his entire family, who for a while, still harboured hope that his brother might still be found alive.

 

“Al we can hope for now is to able to make peace with the fact that we will never see him again.”

 

Ryan said he took his mother and father up the coast to Mile 72 where they searched the beaches for a piece of clothing or wreckage from the Resplendent.

 

“We did not find a single thing and the reality of my brother being gone forever is finally hitting home with us all. The fact that we have nothing tangible is making the process to find closure extremely hard,” he said.

 

closure Captain Carlo Gordon family

 

Ryan said Hangana Seafood, through their lawyers, is assisting Skipper Gordon’s wife, Jacoline, to obtain a death certificate from the Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration. Because skipper Gordon is missing at sea and only presumed to be dead, the legal process of obtaining a death certificate is very complicated.

 

In a statement the Ohlthaver & List Group said its subsidiary, Hangana Seafood invited close family members to fly to where the Resplendent went down a 100 nautical miles north west of Walvis Bay in a helicopter to view the empty sea first hand from the air.

 

“On Friday, 28 February, Carlo Gordon’s wife, children and housekeeper were flown to the site of the tragedy where they observed a moment of silence in the aircraft before they scattered flower petals over the sea.”

 

Hangana Seafood at one stage considered having commercial divers descend to the wreck in an effort to recover the mortal remains of Skipper Gordon. The depth of the wreck is beyond human ability and the use of a remotely operated vehicle was also considered. However, poor visibility and bad water conditions at a depth of 318 metres scuppered that possibility.

 

“After careful consideration and close consultation with experts to explore all possibilities, and based on the opinions of different experts, Hangana Seafood’s management and the company’s insurer concluded that there is no reasonable prospect of finding the missing skipper alive or recovering his body from the wreck.”

 

Skipper Gordon joined a distinguished list of ship captains, who in the face of imminent and grave danger to himself, chose to put the safety of his 26 crewmen above his own when he went inside the wheelhouse one last time to make sure they all made it to the relative safety of life rafts.

 

The last time anybody saw him alive was when a door slammed shut behind him while he went back inside the wheelhouse.

 

The 26 crew members were rescued from the sea by two other fishing vessels, the Fisher Bank and the Victory.

 

A special team, made up of a Master Mariner, a retired skipper and two government marine surveyors, has been assembled to conduct a thorough investigation into the tragic incident. The investigation started two days after the tragedy and the final report is expected on 20 March 2020.

Pictured: Captain Carlo Gordon – Photo: File