Search underway for missing fishermen after ship sinks off Cape Town

South African authorities launched a search and rescue operation on Saturday to locate 11 fishermen missing after their vessel sank off the coast of Cape Town, the fisheries department reported.

Nine fishermen were successfully rescued after deploying an emergency craft, according to a statement from the department.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the missing fishermen and their families as we await news of the search and rescue operation,” fisheries minister Barbara Creecy said.

The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) stated that rescue efforts were initiated on Friday following reports of the sinking vessel approximately 30 nautical miles off the Atlantic Seaboard.

“A Mayday distress call intercepted by Telkom Maritime Radio Services at 15:30 (local time) was relayed to nearby vessels that responded to assist,” the NSRI noted in a statement on Saturday.

“At least five fishing vessels reached the search area, locating and recovering nine of the 20 local fishermen from a life raft.”

The cause of the vessel’s sinking remains unknown, the NSRI added. The search operation continues as authorities strive to locate the missing fishermen.

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