Walvis Bay — All possible resources had to be deployed yesterday to launch an emergency evacuation in order to rescue crew members of a fishing vessel that has sunk off the Namibian coast yesterday.
The vessel, Resplendent, is owned by Hangana Seafood, a subsidiary of the Ohlthaver & List Group. In a statement yesterday, works and transport ministry spokesperson Julius Ngweda confirmed the incident. He states there were 27 Namibian crew members at the time the vessel sank. Of those, 26 were all rescued. "Sadly, one crewman believed to be the skipper is unaccounted for."
Ngweda said the ministry directed search and rescue efforts by aleast two ships continue until dusk. New Era was yesterday reliably told that fishing vessels Begonia, Victory and Fisher Bank came to the rescue of the crew members as the vessel was sinking at a rapid pace.
They were all fishing in the same area. Begonia and Fisher Bank are also owned by Hangana Seafood.
"The circumstances of the incident are not clear at this stage.
However, we can confirm that the Resplendent's Fishing Vessel Safety Certificate was valid until 23 October 2020, having been issued on 30 October 2019."
The ministry spokesperson assured that a full investigation will be commissioned immediately, to asses and review the circumstances sorrounding this unfortunate event.
Ohlthaver & List group spokesperson, Roux-ché Locke yesterday also confirmed that a distress call was received from its fishing trawler, at approximately 13h00.
"All possible resources were deployed to facilitate a rescue mission as the crew is our top priority," Locke said in a statement.
The Walvis Bay radio, which provides vital links in the marine and inland radio communications service, received the distress call around lunch time from the hake catching vessel and notified all relevant authorities to launch an immediate rescue mission.