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Pole And Line Vessel Wrecked On Robben Island South Africa, September 2, 13

The wooden pole and line tuna fishing vessel Claremont ran aground and broke up on the rocks on the south western shores of Robben Island, Cape Town. The crew of 12 were all rescued from the wreckage in the stormy weather.

The cause of the incident is yet to be uncovered, but police spokesman Captain FC van Wyk confirmed that police had been informed and officers had visited the site. He described the vessel as “a wreck.”

A notification should have been given to Cape Town Radio if the vessel had approached a distance of less than one nautical mile to Robben Island, which is a restricted area. Cape Town Radio would have then alerted the Robben Island management authority.


Claremont wreck

Police had investigated the wreckage in an attempt to determine the cause of the incident and had decided not to take the issue any further. Principal Officer at SA Maritime Safety Association (Samsa), Gustav Louw said: “The only thing we had to go on was a statement from the skipper who said he had had engine problems and had ended up on the rocks.”

The vessel Claremont was licensed for tuna fishing using the pole and line method, with a crew of 19 people. On leaving the harbor, the vessel should have switched on its compulsory vessel monitoring system so it could be tracked by the operations room of the fisheries department.

Fisheries sources also outlined that the skipper should have completed and posted a “red letter” departure form on leaving the harbor.

Police have not opened a case docket or arrested anyone in connection with the incident.