ONE of Tunacor's hake trawlers 'Nicole' sank about 80 nautical miles southwest of Walvis Bay on New Year's day.
The 14 crew members on board escaped without injury with the assistance of another vessel 'Aldubara' of Tunacor, that was in the vicinity when a SOS was signaled.
According to the general manager of Talaman Fish Processors (to whom Tunacor chartered the vessel), Marianna Holtzhausen, an investigation continues as to the reason of the accident. All that is known at this stage is that water started filling the engine room.
The vessel is now said to be about 150 metres below the surface on the ocean floor. It had been out at sea since December 28 and was still catching fish at the time of the incident. The catch already landed was lost with the vessel.
Without this vessel, the companies are said to lose "hundreds of thousands of dollars a month" due to lost operations.
"I can just thank God that the crew were all safe. Obviously there is fear when something like this happens, but to keep the sensationalism out, what matters is the safety of the crew," she said.
The vessel started sinking at 01h30.