Sailors’ Society’s Crisis Response Network is supporting survivors of a shipwrecked trawler after an urgent search and rescue operation took place off the Southern Cape coast of South Africa.
The experienced team from the global maritime welfare charity is also comforting families of the seven-strong crew, four of whom died when the local fishing trawler washed up on rocks in rough seas.
The search and rescue effort was triggered by a distress signal received from the vessel, which had run aground in the Gouritzmond area of the Mossel Bay coast.
Rescuers found the skipper carrying out CPR on the body of one of his six crewmen, while another crewman, who could be heard shouting for help from the badly damaged fishing vessel battered by heavy waves, was later rescued. Both he and the skipper were treated for hypothermia.
During the subsequent search, four bodies were recovered and one man remains missing.
Sailors’ Society CEO, Sara Baade, said: “Sadly, shipwrecks still happen and the loss of these lives will devastate the families and community they live in. For the family of the missing man, the wait will be unbearable and the survivors will be suffering from extreme trauma.
“But thankfully our crisis response team are there. They can support them all, offering practical assistance and chaplaincy support. And this will continue for as long as it is needed.
“For seven years, our Crisis Response Network has been a highly effective global response programme that can provide the much-needed 24/7 care and support to seafarers and their families following critical incidents such as this.”
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