6 August 2012

Namibia: Three More Bodies Retrieved From Sea

Walvis Bay — Rescue workers retrieved the last three bodies of the victims of the ill-fated recreational fishing vessel the Dan Jose, which capsized over a week ago.

A rescue team found one of the bodies last Friday afternoon, while the other two were found on Saturday at Mile 14. One of the bodies was discovered by a coastal resident while he was driving around the beach north of Swakopmund. Their names have not been released yet, since their next of kin have not yet been identified.

The tragedy occurred about 11 days ago, when the Dan Jose sailed from Swakopmund with the owner and six crew members to catch fish - however they encountered technical problems that resulted in the vessel taking in water and sinking.

The vessel capsized about one kilometre offshore at Mile 7 en-route to Henties Bay.

Only one person, David Alweendo, survived the tragedy.

So far only three of the drowned crew members have been identified.

They are Thomas Haikongo (33), the skipper Danie Douw Kloppers (47) and a certain Evalistus (25). All three are from Swakopmund.

Last week the Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Bernard Esau, said that an investigation would be conducted into recreational fishing activities, while the criteria for issuing licenses for recreational boats would be reviewed.

The minister expressed concern about the limited number of life jackets that were on the Dan Jose, which should be a basic requirement for any vessel.

Last week the police said some of the deceased were residents of the DRC settlement at Swakopmund.

Residents always avail themselves to do odd jobs even if it means fishing, though they lack experience and know the dangers associated with the activity.

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