Late last night, the NSRI Table Bay volunteer sea rescue duty crew were activated by the Transnet National Ports Authority following reports of a stowaway adrift at sea on a life-raft in the vicinity of Robben Island.
It was reported that the SAFMARINE ship CHA CHAI which was lying at anchor at 4 Buoy in Table Bay and waiting at anchor to enter the Port of Table Bay, had noticed an unidentified man launching a life-raft from their ship.
The life-raft was successfully launched by the man but he was drifting towards Robben Island and the ship requested assistance from the Transnet National Ports Authority.
“On arrival on-scene a search commenced and in full moon good sea conditions the life-raft was located East of Robben Island by the Police boat and Police Sea Borderline officers recovered the man from the life-raft” said the NSRI in a statement.
“The man, a 19 year old from Libya, was then recovered onto our sea rescue craft and he was medically checked by our NSRI medics and although dressed only in a pair of shorts he was found to be suffering only mild dehydration.”
The life-raft was then returned to the ship while the man was taken to the Table Bay Port Police Station and is in Police custody.
The man, who speaks very good english, told NSRI rescuers that he was from Jobey, in Libya, and that he had boarded the ship in Ghana as a stowaway and he claimed that he was not aware where the ship was headed.
Police are investigating and the Department of International Relations and Cooperation have been informed.