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Major Wave Results in Tragic Incident; Three South African Navy Mariners Killed

Published September 21, 2023
9 months ago

The catastrophic force of the sea claimed the lives of three South African Navy submariners after their vessel was struck by a 'huge wave' near the Slangkop Lighthouse in Kommetjie. This heartbreaking turn of events unfolded against the backdrop of an intense storm surge that battered the Western Cape Coast, causing waves up to 9.5 meters high over the past weekend.

The initial reports from Lieutenant Colonel Malcolm Pojie, Western Cape police spokesperson, suggested only two personnel missing after the wave hit during a routine exercise drill, but the casualty count sadly increased after a female sailor was also found deceased. This prompted a swift, yet desperate, search and rescue operation involving the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI), SAPS Search and Rescue, the South African Navy, and most importantly, common humanity.

Craig Lambinon, NSRI spokesperson, confirmed that among the seven men brought ashore, two could not be revived despite immediate CPR, while a third sailor was lifted in critical condition by a Netcare 911 helicopter. Notably, four others were fortunate enough to escape without significant injuries.

The South African Navy, in light of this tragedy, has vowed to release a statement concerning the incident at an opportune time, said Commander Ruwayda Grootboom, the official spokesperson. Yet, as the tide retreats, the memories of these brave mariners remain etched in South Africa's maritime history.

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