All twenty crew members on board Starfish, fishing vessel, have been rescued after their boat sank 60 nautical miles of Plettenberg Bay. The incident happened on April 26 east of Port Elizabeth (South Africa).
All fishermen were rescued by Navious Norther Star. The bulk carrier was en route to Singapore, fully laden, when it received the distress call at 11.16 local time. Navious Northern Star managed to reach the scene 3 hours later. The fishermen had already been in a life-raft. The crew of the bulk carrier arrived close enough to throw a line to the life-raft and managed to reel her to the vessel's side before bronging all fishermen up on board. All fishermen were wearing life-jackets and were reported to be in good health. FV Starfish sank during the rescue operation.
NSRI Port Elizabeth dispatched Eikos Rescuer IV to assist the bulk carrier with the fishermen. The operation was also supported by Strandloper, Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) boat. Navios Norther Star met the two rescue boats 5 nautical miles off Port Elizabeth on Sunday. Nine of the rescued fishermen were transferred on board Eikos Rescuer IV, the other 11 – on Strandloper. The fishermen were brought ashore in Port Elizabeth.
According to the skipper of the vessel, FV Starfish was 120 nautical miles off Plettenberg Bay when it started taking water, around 9 am, from unidentified cause. They tried to pump the water out, but the ingress was too fast. After the water had flooded the bait boxes and had clogged the motors and the pumps, the crew sent a distress call and prepared to leave the vessel.
Navios Northern Star (IMO number 9328560 and MMSI 229568000) is a bulk carrier registered in Malta. The 75,395-ton vessel was built in 2005 and it is managed by Kleimar NV (Belgium). Current position of Navious Northern Star.
FV Starfish (MMSI 601319000) was built 23-meter, registered in South Africa.