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Cape Town boat capsizes: Latest developments as ‘nine people missing’

A huge rescue operation is underway as search teams fear for “at least nine missing people” on board a capsized boat near Cape Town.


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A concerning situation is taking place off the coast of Clifton in Cape Town. An inflatable boat capsized shortly after 8:00 on Thursday morning with multiple occupants on board. Search and rescue teams – including the NSRI – are battling to find the missing crew members.

Cape Town boat capsizes – latest news and updates

The vessel itself has been dragged to shore, and as of 12:30, one person has made it back to land – they are now helping with the operation. The South African Air Force, the South African Police Service and various emergency service providers are providing assistance at the scene.

Weather warnings had been in place for high winds across the coastal regions of the Western Cape for most of the week, and there may be tragic consequences to these forecasts. The boat itself was discovered 3.7km away from Mouille Point.

Everything we know about the capsized boat

Earlier we spoke with Craig Lambinon, a spokesperson for the NSRI: Amidst the chaos of the rescue protocol, he was able to clarify a few things with us:

  • The team suspect that there are “nine people missing” – but they cannot be 100% sure of this number.
  • No fatalities have been confirmed at this stage, but there’s a possibility this will change later in the day.
  • The expedition was a fishing trip, and rumours of “abalone poaching” have not been verified.
  • NSRI and their co-operative groups are working establish what exactly caused the boat to capsize.
  • The search area ranges 4km from the shore from Robben Island to Oudekraal.

Updates since this story was first published:

  • Another person has been returned to the shore, making that two people who have definitely survived.
  • This is a developing story, and we will bring you more updates as we get them throughout the day