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Search Intensifies for Missing Skipper and Mysterious Charterer After Vessel Found Burnt on Mozambique Coast

Published March 18, 2024
2 months ago

The coastal communities of KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and maritime authorities are gripped in a tense search effort for the well-respected charter boat captain, John Matambu, following the distressing discovery of his burnt fishing vessel on the Mozambique coast. Matambu's boat, the MAGNUM TOO, was reported missing after failing to return from a charter trip that began on Saturday from Sodwana Bay, a popular fishing and diving destination.

National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) spokesperson Craig Lambinon detailed that the boat, a 21-foot Yeld Cat ski-boat, was expected back at Sodwana Bay that same afternoon. However, concerns spiked when the MAGNUM TOO wreck was found near Dobela, Mozambique, with the vessel showing extensive burn damage, escalating fears of potential foul play.

The skipper's disappearance is particularly vexing because it diverges sharply from his known behavior. Matambu, known for his reliability, did not communicate with any coastal authority or return as planned, which is out of character for the seasoned skipper. In a concerning twist, it appears that the individuals who had chartered MAGNUM TOO may have allegedly used misleading information about their identity—a claim that has not been confirmed and may be due to a misunderstanding. However, it was reported that they arrived in the area on a motorbike, a detail adding to the mystery of the situation.

Authorities have been mobilized into action, with investigations headed by various enforcement and maritime agencies. As of yet, there have been no signs of Matambu or the unidentified man who supposedly chartered the boat. Lambinon expressed that the thoughts of the NSRI and all involved are with Matambu's family and colleagues during this unsettling period. The circumstances leading to the vessel's demise remain a mystery as the boat was found stranded and charred, with no clues as to what happened to the skipper and his passenger.

Law enforcement agencies and the NSRI, known for their diligence and expertise in maritime rescue and investigation, continue to conduct an exhaustive search. Security agencies and maritime authorities are piecing together evidence in the hopes of locating the two missing men and explaining the curious and worrying events that have unfolded.

The community awaits further updates, holding onto hope for Matambu, a respected figure in the local maritime community, and answers that may bring closure to his family and friends.

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