Chokka trawler capsizes at Cape St Francis

At least one fisherman lost his life and eight more are missing after a chokka trawler – the Maredon – capsized near Cape St Francis this morning.

Kouga Mayor Elza van Lingen said reports indicated that the Maredon had run into trouble in rough seas and strong winds during the early morning hours.

“Seven fishermen were saved and taken to hospital thanks to the efforts of the NSRI, Air Force chopper crew, Kouga Municipality’s Fire and Disaster team, SAPS, provincial and local EMS and private healthcare ambulance services.

“They did a great job and we are very grateful for their efforts,” she said.

“We are only sorry that not all lives could be saved. Our deepest condolences go to the family of the fisherman who drowned.

Our prayers are with those still waiting for news of their loved ones.”

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Photo: Clive Wright

She said one survivor had been found underneath the capsized boat but that NSRI divers had not found anyone else remaining in the trawler.

“The NSRI, chopper and land crews have scanned the coast east and west of boat.

“The search has, however, had to be called off for the day due to increasingly bad weather.

The scene has been handed over to the local SAPS and search efforts are expected to continue in the morning,” she said.