Namibia: Newlands Crew Rescued After Sinking Off Namibian Coast

6 September 2023

In a dramatic turn of events, all 10 crew members of the rock lobster vessel, Newlands, which went missing on Sunday, were found and rescued yesterday, after the vessel sunk.

A source with insider knowledge of the situation described the incident as "like out of a movie".

The source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, described the crew's harrowing experience while taking provisions to another vessel along the coastline when the Newlands sunk.

The incident occurred offshore between Lüderitz and Oranjemund.

Five crew members swam to an island, while the other five utilised a life raft before they were eventually found by Namdeb security.

"It's incredible that they all survived," the source said.

"Thank God that people could swim."

Ministry of Works and Transport spokesperson Julius Ngweda confirmed the rescue to The Namibian only a few hours after the ministry issued a press statement noting that a rescue operation was instigated after the vessel and crew had gone missing.

"Yes, all the crew has been found and they are all safe. The vessel has sunk," said Ngweda.

The vessel sunk on Tuesday, he added.

Ngweda also confirmed the use of life rafts by the crew.

When asked about the next steps, Ngweda said the ministry will appoint an independent investigator to look into the incident.

"We want to know now what was the cause of these incidents. Looking at this area though, it seems like rough conditions can be expected there."

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