All 19 crew members of the 165 meter rice bulk carrier container ship KIANI SATU are being evacuated off the casualty ship in relays by NSRI Knysna and NSRI Wilderness sea rescue boats.
In the early hours of Thursday morning, NSRI Knysna volunteer sea rescue duty crew were activated by the Transnet National Ports Authority following reports of the KIANI SATU, a 165 meter rice bulk carrier container ship, was at risk of running aground at Walker Bay, between Knysna and Sedgefield with 19 crew members aboard who are believed to be Filipino and Ukranian nationals.
According to SAMSA (South African Maritime Safety Authority) the salvage vessel SMIT AMANDLA was dispatched from Cape Town in the early hours of this morning and is expected to reach the scene at nightfall today.
The ship, sailing from Cape Town, to Gabon, appears to have run into motor mechanical problems yesterday. A tug boat, the Fairmont Glazier, were dispatched to assist and is on-scene.
In 5 meter swells and gusting to 45 knot onshore Westerly winds the casualty vessel KIANI SATU has dragged anchor and they are now lying about half a nautical mile off-shore and her anchor is currently holding.
Fog has descended further hampering the stand-by rescue operation. There are no direct access points for media on the scene and media are respectfully requested to hold back and not approach as the coastline in the area is dangerous and the ship cannot be viewed from shore.
Once safely ashore the crew will be processed and handed into the care of Police and Tourism officials. No injuries have been sustained.
Environmental risks are being assessed by SAMSA (South African Maritime Safety Authority) and efforts will be made to salvage the ship.