Entries in Boat (4)


Tourists in South Africa Survived Capsized Boat in Air Pockets

Nardus Engelbrecht/Gallo Images/Getty Images(CAPE TOWN, South Africa) -- A popular tourist excursion near Cape Town, South Africa, turned into a horrifying experience for dozens of people this weekend when their boat capsized in chilly, shark-infested water.  Three of the tourists trapped beneath the boat for hours survived by finding air pockets.  Two men died.

The charted catamaran Miroshga was near Hout Bay on the way to Duiker Island where the 34 tourists, including four children and four crew members, were headed to see a famous seal colony.  The area is also known for its population of great white sharks.  The boat capsized shortly after 2 p.m. Saturday, according to the South African National Sea Rescue Institute.

“Upon arrival, we found many of the passengers had been pulled onto fishing boats and chartered tourist boats that were nearby or were clinging to the side of the upturned boat,” the institute’s Craig Lambinon said.

One of the passengers, Peter Hyett, 64, of the United Kingdom, was unconscious and could not be revived.  Rescuers immediately started search operations for the four passengers who were still missing.

“Rescuers moved onto the hull of the boat and used tools to bang on the upturned top of the boat to see if they got a response, and they did get tapping back so they knew there were people trapped beneath the boat,” Lambinon said.

Anna-Marie Weaver of South Africa told the Cape Times she was one of those trapped passengers.

“It was dark in there,” Weaver told the Times from her hospital bed Sunday.  “The boat was moving and the water rushing backwards and forwards, very strongly.  I don’t know how long we were in there when we heard someone shouting from outside, knocking on the hull.  When I heard that voice, it was like a sound out of heaven.”

Rescue divers then began searching for the trapped passengers.  About two hours after the boat capsized, they found one woman surviving in an air pocket in the hull.  They continued looking for another two hours before they found more trapped passengers.

“They had searched most of the boat and found nothing.  Then in a section of the boat that was almost barely accessible, they found another two women surviving in an air pocket in a cupboard,” Lambinon said.

Lambinon said it took about 30 minutes for rescuers to encourage the frightened women to give up their life jackets so they could swim out of the boat.  The body of the fourth missing passenger,  South African tour guide John Roberts, 37, was found the next day on the bottom of the ocean near where the boat capsized.

The survivors were treated for hypothermia and minor injuries.  Weaver is the only passenger still in the hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.

The catamaran has been recovered from the water, and the cause of the accident is now under investigation.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Hong Kong Ferry Boat Accident: Death Toll Rises to 38

ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images(HONG KONG) -- Hong Kong police have arrested seven crew members in connection with a ferry boat collision that killed 38 passengers, including four children, in the city's deadliest maritime accident in 40 years.

Police Commissioner Tsang Wai-hung said those arrested, including the boat's captain, were under investigation for negligence, and that they did not "exercise the care required of them by law."

He said additional arrests would be made, although he did not elaborate further.

More than 120 employees of the Hong Kong Electric Company were onboard the Lamma IV vessel with their families Monday evening to view a fireworks display celebrating China's National Day, when the vessel collided with another ferry near Lamma Island, off the southwest coast of Hong Kong island. The ferry began to sink shortly after impact, throwing all passengers into the water, according to the Hong Kong Fire Services Department.

Television images showed the bow of the boat pointing straight up, with the vessel partially submerged. Seven boats, including a diving support vessel and hundreds of rescue crews, were dispatched overnight, but low visibility hampered rescue efforts.

Twenty-eight bodies were recovered from the water, and eight other victims were declared dead at nearby hospitals. Two other bodies found onboard raised the death toll to 38 Tuesday night.

The remaining passengers were treated for injuries, but four remain in serious or critical condition, according to a government statement.

The commuter ferry that collided with the Lamma IV, operated by the Hong Kong and Kowloon Ferry company, appeared damaged but managed to return to port safely.

Large-scale accidents are rare in Hong Kong, where the waterways are among the safest not to mention the most tightly regulated.

Monday's boat disaster was Hong Kong's deadliest accident since a high-rise fire in 1996, which killed 41 people.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Cruise Boat Sinks in Russia, More than 100 Thought Dead

Relatives of the Bulgaria river cruiser passengers wait for the news about their loved ones (NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA /AFP/Getty Images) (MOSCOW) -- More than 100 people drowned when an overcrowded, 56-year-old boat sank in the Volga River Sunday, in what rescue officials are calling the worst river transport disaster in Russia's history.

Nearly 80 people were rescued in the hours following the boat's sinking. Another 40 people have been confirmed dead. According to officials, the boat's capacity was 120, but they say as many as 197 were aboard when it sank.

Divers Monday morning reported seeing dozens of dead bodies trapped in the wreckage.

Among those unaccounted for is the majority of the 59 children on the riverboat who were moved into an interior play area minutes before the boat sank. That's according to survivors, who also said the majority of parents were on the deck or in their rooms while the children were in the playroom with boat's babysitters.

The accident happened when the boat was 2 miles from shore in 65 feet of water, according to officials.

Russian authorities suggest the cause of the accident was mechanical troubles with one of the riverboat's two diesel engines.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Nearly 200 Feared Dead after Boat Burns off Sudanese Coast

U.S. State Department(KHARTOUM, Sudan) -- Nearly 200 migrants are said to have drowned off the coast of Sudan Tuesday, after a boat they were on caught fire, according to the Sudanese Media Center. 

The news agency reports that, so far, only three people have been rescued.

The boat departed from Red Sea State and was on its way to Saudi Arabia, traveling for four hours before going up in flames.  The cause of the fire is not yet known.

According to the news agency, the reported owners of the boat -- four Yemenis -- have been arrested.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio