Early Friday morning, a desperate rescue mission was undertaken to save 26 fishermen when their fishing vessel caught fire in the waters south of Cape Town, South Africa.
he crew of the fishing vessel Olivia Marie was forced to evacuate ship and resort to life rafts after the engine room caught fire, according to the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA). According to the Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC), the crew reported that they were fleeing the ship after a fire started in the engine room and that the entire vessel was on fire.
A mayday call from MRCC alerted adjacent ships to the situation, and the crew was safely rescued. South Africa’s Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA), the local charity National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI), and other partners rushed to the help.
The NSRI said its rescue boats were able to use sea currents to gently tow Olivia Marie away from land and hold it offshore prior to the tug’s arrival, thus averting an environmental maritime disaster. Efforts to recover the stricken vessel are ongoing.