South Africa: Geo Searcher Crew - SA Fishermen Home At Last After Atlantic Rescue 2,600km From Home

(file photo).

Nearly 50 South Africans came home safely to their families late on Monday after their fishing vessel sank in one of the world's most remote stretches of the ocean - deep down in the Atlantic, almost halfway between South Africa and South America.

Forty-seven South Africans - part of the 62-strong crew of the Geo Searcher fishing vessel - arrived in Cape Town last night aboard the SA Agulhas II polar supply and research ship after an 11-day sea drama which began near Gough Island, a tiny chunk of volcanic rock which has been leased from the British government since 1956 by the SA Weather Service to keep the country informed about impending severe weather systems, as well as providing insight into climate change.

It started on the morning of October 15 when the Geo Searcher struck a rock while fishing for lobsters (crayfish) near the bleak 91km² Gough Island volcanic extrusion, whose only human inhabitants are a tiny contingent of South Africans meteorologists and scientists with just enough food to last them for their year-long stints on the island.

Gough Island forms part of Tristan da Cunha, described as the most remote inhabited archipelago in the world, situated in...

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