Kiani Satu, a 157m cargo ship stocked with rice, heading from Hong Kong to Ghana, ran aground off Buffalo Bay and the Goukamma Nature Reserve in the municipality district of Knysna, South Africa.
After the engines failed on Thursday morning, the anchor was dropped and the The Knysna and Wilderness NSRI (National Sea Rescue Institute) were quick on the scene and faced challenging 5m swells and 45 knot winds.
On Eye Witness News, Graeme Harding (Knysna NSRI) said that they had “the surf crash right over (their) boat. When it hit the ship, it washed right over…it was really dangerous. The helicopter pilot was absolutely phenomenal and the guys hanging from the end of the line literally put their lives on the line.” The NSRI is an organization that has continually made local residents proud.
The 19 crew members were safely evacuated by Sikorski helicopter which had to hoist them from the deck. They have been taken to Mosselbay for visa processing.
The concern is obviously that the ship breaks up and causes an environmental disaster for the Goukamma Nature Reserve. However, there are no reports of leaking fuel. Famous salvage vessel, Amandla Smit, is en route from Cape Town. Thankfully, the weather has improved and will hopefully make the operation easier.
It will undoubtedly add some spice to the Ross Taylor Surf Competition this weekend:)