A father and son duo disappeared while fishing near Doringbaai on the West Coast on Tuesday afternoon after dense fog suddenly descended on the area. The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) activated its Lamberts Bay Duty crew and began searching the area.

The body of the older man, the father, was found on Wednesday morning. The younger fisherman, believed to be in his 30s, is still presumed to be lost at sea.

NSRI RUSHES TO SCENE AFTER FATHER AND SON GO MISSING

On Tuesday, dense fog converged on fishermen at sea in the vicinity of Doringbaai, which forced boats to head back to shore. The anglers noticed that a father and son duo that they had seen fishing in the area was nowhere to be seen and the authorities were alerted.

“At 17:30, Tuesday, 25 May, NSRI Lamberts Bay duty crew were activated following reports of two fishermen, a father and his son, from Doringbaai, missing in dense fog and believed to be off-shore in the vicinity of Doringbaai on the West Coast,” said Avril Mocke, the NSRI Lamberts Bay station commander.

The NSRI and South African Police Service (SAPS) initiated an investigation to determine the search area. Mocke added that the men did not appear to have a cellphone or GPS onboard.

Later, fishermen that returned to shore said the men had last been seen heading north – which is when the NSRI’s Strandfontein duty crew were alerted.

Telkom’s Maritime Radio Services sent an all ships alert to notify all vessels in the area to keep an eye out for the father and son, while the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre readied other emergency services, including the SA Airforce, in case they needed to respond overnight.

BODY FOUND ON WEDNESDAY MORNING

A member of the public found the boat the missing men were travelling in washed ashore north of Strandfontein at sunrise on Wednesday morning. NSRI Strandfontein then launch a rescue craft in the area to continue the search.

“Police and local fishermen then located and recovered the body of the father who was found washed ashore in amongst rocks North of Doringbaai,” said Mocke. “A search continued for the missing fisherman, believed to be aged in his 30s, and a Police Dive Unit has taken over an ongoing search operation for the missing man.”

SAPS have opened an inquest docket and the body of the deceased was taken into the care of the Western Cape’s Health Forensic Pathology Services.

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Presh JM Reporter

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