Everyone who was onboard is safe after the vessel sank off the coast of South Africa.
The crew of a fishing boat required rescue after their craft began taking water in rough seas near Port Elizabeth, South Africa on Thursday.
The 29-metre crayfish boat Baratz called for urgent assistance when it lost engine power and was left adrift in five metre swells and 20 knot winds southeast of Cape Recife.
Baratz’s sister ship, Helena Marie, responded first, attempting to tow Baratz, whose crew had sealed off the ship’s water-filled engine room.
The all-volunteer National Sea Rescue Institute launched its Eikos Rescuer IV boat from Port Elizabeth when it received the distress call, and the South African Air Force 15 squadron scrambled two BK-117 helicopters to the scene carrying NSRI rescue swimmers.
Baratz listed and began to sink, forcing the 25 crew onboard to abandon ship into two life rafts, as the water rescue boats and helicopters made their way to the scene.
One of the fishermen, however, missed the life rafts and landed in the rough waters, quickly getting swept away from the rafts by winds and currents. Fortunately, he was wearing a life jacket, and was quickly spotted.
The NSRI rescue boat crew deployed a sea rescue swimmer to secure the man and bring him onboard the rescue boat.
The remaining crew were then accounted for inside the two life rafts and the rescue operation continued. One by one, the 24 fishermen were taken out of the life raft, into the sea, with the assistance of a rescue swimmer and hoisted aboard the helicopters.
The helicopters made multiple trips from the scene back to shore to deliver the fishermen to safety and allow them to undergo medical checks and treatment.
The NSRI has reported that the Baratz crayfish boat sank.
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