Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Search continues after red distress flare sighting

By Ilhaam Hoosain
19 March 2008

NSRI Hout Bay, Simonstown and Table Bay launched a search at 21h30 Tuesday evening, following reports of two red distress flares fired which were six minutes apart.

The flare was sighted approximately 15 nautical miles South West of Cape Point.

“The search has continued through out the night, nothing has been found yet and an air force 35 squadron Dakota joined the search at first light this morning, to help to rule out that there are people or vessels in distress,” says NSRI’s Craig Lambinon.

NSRI Simonstown Station Commander Darren Zimmerman said that during the search his crew came across a piece of unidentified debris floating in the water and both rescue craft honed in on that area and NSRI Table Bays rescue craft requested to join the search and MRCC activated the SA Air Force Dakota to be in the search area before sunrise to commence an aerial search from first light.

The search has thus far, despite 3 rescue craft and the Air Force Dakota engaged in the search, revealed no sign of a vessel in distress and no reports of any overdue vessel have been reported.

The piece of debris sighted by the rescuers appears to be unrelated to the search.

The NSRI request anyone that can assist with information leading to determining the origin of the red distress flare activation or anyone suspecting a vessel to be overdue to contact the National Ports Authority Sea Rescue Emergency number at (021) 4493500.

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