The search for a man who went missing off the coast of Hout Bay in the Western Cape on Sunday evening continues on Monday, with the National Search and Rescue Institute (NSRI) conducting an extensive operation to locate the ski-boat captain after reports were received that two boats had collided. 

Five men have already been rescued after the distress calls were received, with one man transported to hospital by EMS ambulance in a stable condition.

Search continues for man off Hout Bay shore  

The NSRI said in a statement on Monday morning that the search is being conducted five nautical miles off-shore from Hout Bay for the missing man, with NSRI Hout Bay, NSRI Kommetjie and local fishing boats having joined the rescue effort on Sunday night.

“NSRI Hout Bay and NSRI Kommetjie were activated at 19:47, following eye-witness reports of red distress flares sighted out to sea between The Sentinel and Chapman’s Peak,” they said, adding that at the same time, reports were received of a boat collision.

“NSRI Hout Bay and NSRI Kommetjie dispatched sea rescue craft and on arrival on the scene it was found that two boats had collided.”

“It appears that one boat may have been stationary in the water without navigational lights being displayed but this remains unconfirmed.”

Boats collide on Sunday night  

The SA Police Services, Law Enforcement, WC Government Health EMS, Life Healthcare response paramedics and ER24 ambulance services were activated, and Sea Rescue vehicles from NSRI Hout Bay and from NSRI Kommetjie were dispatched to the shoreline to assist with communications and a shoreline search.

“The sequence of events remains unclear but it appears that there were four local crew on one of the boats and following the collision they went overboard and 2 crew of the second boat went overboard,” said the NSRI. 

“Five men were rescued by one of the boats that was involved in the collision and one man, aged in his late 30’s, the skipper of the stationary boat, was unaccounted for.”

The two boats involved in the collision were brought to Hout Bay harbour and they have both sustained significant damage.

Local fishing boats – the Fish Keeper, Cape Tuner II and Fish Tails – were in the area at the time and went to the aid of the damaged vessels. Two of the casualties were transported to shore by one of the local fishing boats which returned to the scene and then transported the remaining three casualties and an NSRI paramedic to the shore.

NSRI said that a Police Dive Unit and Police Sea Borderline Control have joined NSRI Hout Bay in an ongoing search operation this morning.

“NSRI commend the local fishing community who assisted on the scene on Sunday night. Our thoughts are with the family of the missing man in this difficult time.”

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Presh JM Reporter

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