Namibia: Seaman Dies in Boat Fire

A crew member of the bottom trawler 'Ocean Tied' was killed in a fire on the vessel on Saturday at Walvis Bay.

Forensic investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the inferno that killed Hausiku Sivambo (40) and destroyed the vessel worth about N$30 million alongside the jetty of Seawork Fish Processors at the coastal town.

According to an incident report by Erongo police crime investigations coordinator Erastus Iikuyu, preliminary suspicions are that the fire may have been caused by an electrical short circuit.

It is alleged that the fire broke out on Saturday morning at around 07h00 while 20 Namibian crew members were working on the vessel. Nineteen managed to evacuate unharmed, but Sivambo was allegedly trapped inside the vessel and burned to death.

His body was only discovered on Sunday, according to Iikuyu.

Seawork chief executive officer Peter Pahl described the incident as a "tragedy" and that Sivambo, who was a husband and a father of three, served the company for 15 years on the same crew. The company was established 17 years ago.

"It is truly a tragic event, but we are also just glad that it was not worse in that more lives could have been lost. This is the first major incident we have experienced (of such a nature)," said Pahl.

According to him, the company is currently supporting the family through this troubled period and assisting with funeral arrangements.

The vessel has been written-off and will be sold for scrap, according to Pahl.

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