The Cape Navigator

Seaside Community Newspaper


Tragic Fishing Incident Sparks Ongoing Search Operation Near Gwaing River Mouth

Michael Hawthorne

GEORGE – In a tragic turn of events, an adult male angler from Pacaltsdorp was swept off rocks into the sea by waves while fishing from the shoreline East of Gwaing River Mouth on Saturday, 10 February. The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) Wilderness station was immediately activated following reports from the South African Police Services (SAPS).

Mike Vonk, NSRI Wilderness station commander, reported that the incident occurred at 14:50, prompting a swift response from multiple emergency services. NSRI Wilderness duty crew, WC Government Health EMS, NSRI rescue swimmers, and George Fire and Rescue Services quickly mobilized to the scene. Additionally, NSRI Mossel Bay, engaged in routine training at the time, diverted their NSRI Mossel Bay rescue craft, St Blaise Rescuer, to join the search efforts.

Upon arrival at the scene, situated in challenging shoreline terrain and amid rough sea conditions, a comprehensive sea and shoreline search commenced. Despite extensive efforts, there have been no signs of the missing angler. The South African Police Services’ Water Policing and Diving Services (SAPS WPDS) were activated, and they continue to lead an ongoing search operation.

NSRI Wilderness, showing unwavering commitment, launched three rescue craft on Sunday to assist Police divers in their persistent search efforts. Thoughts and condolences are extended to the family and friends of the missing man during this difficult time.

The incident serves as a reminder of the unpredictable and potentially hazardous conditions along our coastal areas. Authorities urge the public to exercise caution when engaging in water-related activities, especially during adverse weather conditions. The collaborative efforts of NSRI, EMS, and SAPS reflect the dedication of emergency services to ensuring the safety and well-being of the community.

Updates on the ongoing search operation will be provided as new information becomes available.



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