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APS - Illizi: 17,690 archaeological sites listed since 2016
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CNA - Support schemes averted drastic rise in unemployment amid Covid pandemic, Labour Minister says
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CNA - Cyprus registers unemployment of 8.2% in Q3 2020, CyStat says
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Lusa - Business News - Mozambique: Gas pipeline most viable option to serve domestic market - study
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Lusa - Business News - Portugal: Opposition agrees to amending budget if Novo Banco amount confirmed
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Lusa - Business News - East Timor: Police arrest president of National Communications Authority
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Lusa - Business News - Portugal: EU asked telecoms regulator to clarify controversial 5G auction terms
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Lusa - Business News - Portugal: PSI20 opens 0.23% up at 4,639.09 points
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Lusa - Business News - Portugal: Top headlines on Thursday
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Lusa - Business News - Portugal: Nationals escaped by 'miracle' in Geo Searcher wreck - survivor




Johannesburg, Oct. 28, 2020 (Lusa) - One of the Portuguese crew members of the British-South African fishing boat 'Geo Searcher', which sank in the South Atlantic, told Lusa that the Portuguese crew survived by miracle after almost half an hour in the water before being rescued.

"We only survived because the lifeboats were in the water, if they were not in the water nobody would survive, nobody at all," Portuguese naval technician Daniel Silva, who is now undergoing a period of quarantine from Covid-19 in Cape Town, told Lusa on Tuesday.

The shipwreck of the 'Geo Searcher', with 62 crew members on board, occurred on the afternoon of Thursday, 15 October, 16 kilometres from the British island of Gough, a volcanic island in the Tristan da Cunha archipelago in the South Atlantic, where the ship was fishing for lobster when it ripped its hull by hitting a rock, he said.

According to Daniel Silva, who had been the fishing boat's electrician since 2016, those who got on the first lifeboat to get off the sinking ship went into the water, including the five Portuguese, because the speedboat was turned over by a bad manoeuvre.

"We were lucky with the boats and had to get 16 kilometres to the Gough Island weather station, and the men there with little experience still managed to hoist everyone up there with a crane, which is not to transport people," he said.

Daniel Silva explained that the crew went to the lifeboats and the boats then reached the rafts and started towing the rafts to the crane position to try and climb up to the weather station.

South Africa has had a weather station on Gough since the 1950s, which the Portuguese technician described as a very rugged area and with "very rough" waters that make it difficult to approach.

The vessel, registered in Belize and with a British fishing licence, was fishing for lobster in that archipelago, about 2,500 kilometres from the Cape of Good Hope.

"The weather, miraculously, was good, it was not sunny, but it was a calm sea, which is the most important because if it was not, we would not have a chance of surviving either," he said.

On arrival in Cape Town at the end of the day on Monday, the Portuguese naval technician was assisted by the Portuguese Consul General in Cape Town, José Carlos Arsénio, with provisional travel documents, a source told Lusa.

"Our authorities should have an easy way for us to communicate where we are," said the Portuguese naval technician, stressing that he was recently locked up in a ship without any conditions in Cape Town, waiting to get a flight back to Portugal.

Daniel Silva also told Lusa that the vessel 'Geo Searcher', belonging to Anglo-South Africa's 'Ovenstone', had an annual quota of 300 tonnes of lobster fishing, for which it made between two and three trips per year. The company also has a lobster processing plant on the island of Tristan da Cunha.

The Portuguese naval technician also said that he started work at a young age in ship repair shops in Portugal, having been the youngest electrician in the Portuguese codfish fleet at the age of 17.

The vessel also regularly transported goods and passengers between Tristan da Cunha and South Africa, the nearest mainland territory.

CYH/IMYN // ADB.

Lusa


Agency : LUSA

Date : 2020-10-29 09:34:36







 

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