One person has died and six are missing after a whale watching charter boat carrying around 43 people capsized near Hout Bay, Cape Town on Saturday afternoon.
The charter boat, a twin-hulled catamaran “Miroshga", was carrying around 41 people and two crew members on a whale watching tour at popular Duiker Island, around three kilometers from shore. The island is home to thousands of seals and is a popular sailing destination for tourists. The boat reportedly capsized at around 15:00 local time.
Most media is reporting one death and two people missing in the incident, and according to spokesperson Craig Lambinon of the National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI), four had been confirmed dead, as reported by News 24.
However, the latest South African media release quotes one dead and six persons still missing.
The cause of the accident has not yet been confirmed, and search and rescue operations are still ongoing for missing passengers. NSRI rescue and other charter boats rescued many of the passengers who had fallen into the water.
According to Lambinon, authorities are asking the public to stay away from Hout Bay while rescue operations are ongoing. “At this stage, emergency medical service and police dive units are going to conduct a dive to determine if there are any people trapped beneath the hull of the boat,” he said.
Brad Geyser of the NSRI said, "SAMSA (The South African Maritime Safety Authority) will investigate the cause of the incident and the Salvage vessel Smit Amandla is on-scene to conduct a forensic salvage operation on behalf of SAMSA."