Yesterday morning, the NSRI St Francis Bay were activated following reports of a man having fallen overboard from the Port Elizabeth based long line fishing trawler, HELENA MARIE.
The incident took place 30 nautical miles South West offshore of St Francis Bay.
According to reports the fisherman had fallen overboard at approximately 07h00 after a rope line may have entangled around his foot.
The fisherman was wearing a helmet, oil skins and a life-jacket and the vessel reacted according to protocols for a man overboard.
A life ring was thrown to the man and crew aboard the trawler cut her trawling long lines for the vessel to come around to where the Port Elizabeth fisherman had gone overboard but on returning to the position no sign of the fisherman could be found and a search commenced while the alarm was raised.
The Transnet National Ports Authority alerted NSRI St Francis Bay and Telkom Maritime Radio Services broadcast an all ships alert for vessels in the area to respond to assist in a search.
Chokka boats in the area responded to join the HELENA MARIE in the search for their missing fisherman and NSRI St Francis Bay launched their sea rescue craft SPIRIT OF ST FRANCIS II and on arrival joined in an extensive sea search.
The life ring was found floating in the water during the search.
Despite an extensive sea and air search no sign of the missing fisherman has been found.
“The HELENA MARIE will stay in the area continuing a search and the SA Air Force are tasked to fly a coastal patrol from first light to assist in the search.