Rescue drama at boat wreck

Floris Steenkamp

Full details have emerged now of the rescue drama at the wreck of the fishing vessel Zeila south of Henties Bay early on Saturday morning (arrow points to man standing on the wreck’s foredeck).

Eyewitnesses said a local tour operator from Henties Bay, Mr Simon Mc-Gowan and a second person, who was not identified by name, tried to reach the wreck of the vessel by jet-ski in order to rescue Mr George McNab who earlier on Friday swam to the wreck to collect black mussels. Mr McNab climbed aboard the wreck when he realised he cannot reach the shore safely.
Zeila ran aground some years ago and although the wreck is only a stone’s throw from the beach, the high tide and currents can be deceiving.
On Friday evening when news was received of Mr McNab stuck aboard the wreck, Mr McGowan and several other residents of Hen-ties Bay raced to the scene. They illuminated the wreck and spotted Mr McNab on the bow.
McGowan and the other person took a jet-ski to reach the wreck, but they unexpectedly landed in trouble. The jet-ski overturned and was taken by the cur-rent. McGowan and the other person also had to climb aboard the wreck to save themselves. They wore life vests.
One of the people on the shore saw them also landing in trouble and decided to return to Henties Bay to fetch an inflatable boat in order to save everyone a-board the wreck at daybreak.
After the person returned from Henties Bay they found Mr McNab, McGowan and the other man safely a-shore. It turned out they decided to take a chance and swim ashore. The trio jumped into the sea and swam to safety.
The jet-ski later wash-ed ashore a few hundred metres north of where the rescue drama was taking place.

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