Namibia: Hangana Fishing Vessel Sinks

19 February 2020

The Hangana Seafood company's fishing trawler, Resplendent, sank in the Atlantic Ocean yesterday and its captain is reportedly missing.

Twenty-six other crew members of the vessel were rescued by another vessel, the Fisherbank, also belonging to the company.

The ill-fated trawler is owned by Ohlthaver & List Group, which is the parent company of Hangana Seafood. The Directorate of Maritime Affairs of the Ministry of Works and Transport in a media release late yesterday confirmed the incident.

"The vessel had an all-Namibian crew of 27 people of which 26 have so far been rescued. Sadly, one crewman, believed to be the skipper, is unaccounted for," read the statement signed by transport ministry PRO Julius Ngweda.

A search and rescue mission, consisting of at least two vessels, continued until dusk yesterday. It was further confirmed that the vessel's safety certificate was valid till 23 October. It was renewed in October last year.

Ngweda said the directorate will commission a full investigation into the circumstances surrounding the "unfortunate incident" in the next 72 hours.

In the meantime, the directorate has issued in warning to vessels navigating the vicinity to keep clear of the area and report any sighting of the missing crew member.

O&L Group spokesperson Roux-che Locke also confirmed the trawler's sinking yesterday afternoon.

"I can confirm that a distress call was received from the fishing trawler, the Resplendent, at about 13h00. All possible resources were deployed to facilitate a rescue mission as the crew is our top priority," she said.

Sources in the maritime sector said the accident happened off the coast north of Henties Bay, within the fishing grounds of the Namibian exclusive economic zone.

When asked about this latest information, Locke told The Namibian she could not confirm the information at "this stage" and said that information would be made available once the facts were established.

The Resplendent was one of the company's fleet of eight vessels.

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