Emergency services, including the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) and various medical personnel, were dispatched to Kommetjie in Cape Town following reports of naval mariners facing difficulties in the water on Wednesday afternoon.
At this stage, details remain scant regarding the specific naval vessel involved, with some suggesting it might be a submarine. It is also unclear whether the individuals were engaged in a naval exercise that took an unfortunate turn.
Ongoing Rescue Operation
Craig Lambinon, an NSRI spokesperson, confirmed that the operation was ongoing and described the incident as a “very difficult” one. Speaking on the matter, he noted:
“Information is still coming forward. It was a very difficult incident that happened today. NSRI Kommetjie, NSRI Hout Bay, NSRI Table Bay, and NSRI Simon’s Town were activated at 2.47pm following reports that naval mariners were having difficulty offshore at Sandkop Lighthouse, Kommetjie.”
The City of Cape Town’s Water Rescue Network was promptly activated, with the Western Cape Emergency Medical Services (EMS), rescue squads, and ambulances rushing to the scene. They were joined by the Cape Medical Response, Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services, City of Cape Town Law Enforcement, and other emergency services.
Upon arriving at the scene, two NSRI rescue crafts were launched, successfully rescuing seven mariners from the water. However, the situation took a tragic turn as three mariners were confirmed dead, one is in critical condition, and four others are reported to be in stable condition. Lambinon added:
“One is in critical condition, and four are okay. There is still an operation under way at present to get another person out of a naval vessel at this stage.”
As of now, the cause of the accident remains unknown. Lambinon stated that determining the cause would be a focal point of the forthcoming investigation.
As the rescue operation continues, many are left with pressing questions: What was the exact cause of this tragic incident? Were there any precautionary measures in place to prevent such accidents? The answers to these questions remain pivotal as authorities work tirelessly to bring the situation under control, promising a thorough investigation into the tragic event that unfolded near Kommetjie.